‘Do not make hasty or premature judgments.’ 1 Corinthians 4:5 AMPC
Prejudice—is pre-judging. It makes you see those who don’t endorse what you believe as enemies. You attribute commendable qualities to the circle you move in, and negative ones to those outside it. That’s not what Jesus did. He befriended and fellowshipped with sinners and societal outcasts—without compromising who He was or endorsing their lifestyle. The Bible cautions against ‘hasty or premature judgments’, and reminds us that the Lord ‘will both bring to light the secret things that are hidden in darkness and disclose the motives of the hearts.’ (1 Corinthians 4:5 AMP) He’s the only one qualified to discern ‘the thoughts and intentions of the heart.’ (Hebrews 4:12 ESV) So if you’re inclined to ‘make judgments about anyone ahead of time’ (1 Corinthians 4:5 NLT), here’s some food for thought:
(1) Face your prejudice. List all the people you don’t count as friends, people you actually go out of your way not to have a relationship with, and start loving them ‘by… actions and true caring.’ (1 John 3:18 NCV)
(2) Drop the mask. Look inside your heart and ask yourself what it is about the other person that bothers you. Are there similarities between you? Are they expressing something you’re hiding from?
(3) Get to know the other person. Paul said, ‘I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some.’ (1 Corinthians 9:22 NLT) Whether or not you decide to continue the relationship, you’ll discover the power of your mind to obstruct, delude, and turn something into what it’s not. Plus you’ll have a better chance of winning others to Christ, because ‘love never fails.’ (1 Corinthians 13:8 NKJV)
SoulFood: Heb 11:23–28, Ex 3:1–22, Ex 33:7–23, Ex 34:29–35
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2023