We are to abstain from the appearance of evil as Christians. However, if someone does not abstain from the appearance of evil, we are not to make a judgment on that appearance. We may warn if we are the authority, but we must not judge. We are never to judge according to the appearance. John 7:24, “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.”
We are to judge according to the facts. Never convict people because it appears that they have done something wrong. This is what causes much of the trouble in churches.
May I introduce you to the word “mercy,” which in Scripture always comes before the word “truth.” Mercy is “not judging without truth.” Truth is what you judge. Justice is when you, if the authority, punish for what you KNOW has been done not what you suspect has been done. Mercy never judges by appearance. Proverbs 20:28, “Mercy and truth preserve the king and his throne is upholden by mercy.”
Let me give you five statements that relate to this truth.
- We must have righteous judgment.
- None is righteous, as we read in Romans 3:10, “As it is written, there is none righteous, no not one.”
- So we cannot judge the inside. I Samuel 16:7 says that God looks on the heart. Man cannot look upon the heart, so man cannot judge the heart. That means that man cannot judge motives. It is time for us too quit judging people’s motives
- God is the final judge.
- We can judge only what we KNOW, and that is not the inside or the unknown.