But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God.
1 Corinthians 4:3-5 ESV
Paul is responding to the judgemental attitude of some, in this passage. Nothing has changed since Paul’s day. Today there are those that find it their duty to stand as judge, jury and executioner of God’s servants. They are always a on a fault finding mission. They don’t like what someone says, or does and find it necessary to point out the faults of another’s servant.
Paul responds to his judges with confidence, he says; “it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court.” He basically says; your judgement of me doesn’t matter. He knows who the real judge is, it’s the Lord, no person has the right to judge him.
Paul knows that in Christ he has been forgiven of all past transgressions, and now lives his life to serve his Lord, therefore he doesn’t even judge himself.
The rest of his statement points out the fact that there is a judgement day coming, that will be when the Lord comes again. In that day each one will be judged. So, do not pronounce your judgement too soon.
The problem with human judgement is that we are not the Lord, we cannot see the intent of another’s heart. We only see the surface, therefore we are not qualified judge as the Lord will. To judge others as some were judging Paul is to rush to judgement. Paul is saying, I will leave such judgement to the Lord. We should too. Otherwise we are putting ourselves in the Lord’s place and we will be judged for that.
© 2015 Leo J. Woodman