The LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart—1 Sam. 16: 7.
If we lose sight of the fact that God regards us from the standpoint of the will, if we get to thinking of ourselves and God's estimate of us according to the flesh, we are sure to get proportionately into darkness and confusion and discouragement. But let us not forget, on the other hand, that the spirit, or will, is counted alive because of its righteousness, because it is in harmony with God. Let us, therefore, never be slack in respect to the will, or intention governing the conduct of our lives, but remember that any laxity will mean the proportionate loss of spiritual life. To will right is always possible to us, and nothing less than an absolutely loyal will could be acceptable to God in Christ.
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One's standard of judgment reveals much of his character—the superficiality and errancy of the average man's character is evidenced by his judging from outward appearance. Jehovah's character is manifested by His rule of judgment. Instead of estimating by surface indications, He penetrates into the reality of things, and forms His estimate from what is, and not from what seems; and all things are naked and open to His all-seeing eye. As far as possible let us judge, not by appearance, but by the reality of things.
Parallel passages: Deut. 10: 17; 2Chron. 19: 7; Job 34: 19; 37: 24; Matt. 22: 16; John 7: 24; Acts 10: 34, 35; Rom. 2: 16; 2Cor. 10: 7; Gal. 2: 6; Eph. 6: 8, 9; Col. 3: 25; Jas. 2: 1-6.
Questions: Have I this week judged according to appearance or according to reality?
Why? How? With what results?
IF WE ONLY UNDERSTOOD
COULD we draw aside the curtains
That surround each other's lives,
See the naked heart and spirit,
Know what spur the action gives—
Often we would find it better, Purer
than we judge we would;
We would love each other better
If we only understood.
Could we judge all deeds by motives,
See the good and bad within,
Often we would love the sinner
All the while we loathe the sin.
Could we know the powers working
To o'erthrow integrity,
We would judge each other's errors
With more patient charity.
If we knew the cares and trials,
Knew the efforts all in vain,
And the bitter disappointments—
Understood the loss and gain—
Would the grim external roughness
Seem, I wonder, just the same?
Would we help where now we hinder?
Would we pity where we blame?
Ah, we judge each other harshly,
Knowing not life's hidden force;
Knowing not the fount of action
Is less turbid at its source.
Seeing not amid the evil
All the golden grains of good,
Oh, we'd love each other better
If we only understood.
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