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I remember hearing phrases that I had found at times not to be altogether true, such as, “First impressions count.” That may or may not be true. We really need to get to know someone before passing judgement upon him or her. We make quick judgements far too often, only to discover that our initially thinking was wrong. Some people give us the impression that they are truly following the Lord only to discover that it was far from the truth. We are not judging them. Their actions prove otherwise. Always extend mercy to someone before you rush to judge him or her. The scripture reference is found in John 7:24.

 “Look beneath the surface so you can judge correctly.”

The King James Version reads “Judge not according to appearance, but judge righteous judgement.” Jesus, the Master Teacher, speaks about the importance of not being too quick to judge. He knew there were those who were superficial in their judgement. So, He teaches the importance of righteous judgement. He knew that one who speaks on their own authority is doing so for their own glory. Those who are wise will leave judgment up to God but will also judge righteously as God judges. Jesus knew there were those who were practicing self-righteousness for their own purposes. Jesus always left room for grace and mercy. Thank God for His grace and mercy that looks beyond our faults, sees our needs, and does not judge our outward appearance, but our hearts. May we look into someone’s heart, as opposed to his or her dress, skin color or his or her outward appearance. In other words, judge not lest you be judged.