Godly Attributes of a Believer – Judging Fairly

Passage: Galatians 6:8, John 7:24, 1 Samuel 16:7
Godly Attributes of a Believer (7)
Martin Lee / General Adult
Godly Attributes of a Believer
Judging Fairly

Those who keep sowing in the field of their old nature, in order to meet its demands, will eventually reap ruin; but those who keep sowing in the field of the Spirit will reap from the Spirit everlasting life.
The law of sowing and reaping governs everything in life, whether agriculturally or in business or in relationships with others. We have to be very mindful of our actions, for it is easy to judge others irrationally because of offense, real or implied. Therefore, we must govern our thoughts towards others.

Stop judging by surface appearances, and judge the right way!”


But Adonai said to Sh’mu’el, “Don’t pay attention to how he looks or how tall he is, because I have rejected him. Adonai doesn’t see the way humans see—humans look at the outward appearance, but Adonai looks at the heart.”
We should be just as compassionate to strangers as we are to family members. Rabbi Avrohom Ehrman teaches that judging fairly means recognising that “had we seen this [particular] action or bad qualilty in a close friend or relative…we would …find some way to excuse or overlook it. It is only because a stranger is involved that we condemn this action or failing.” (Telushkin, “You Shall Be Holy,” p89).
How many times have we heard within the church that sickness, sufferings, or misfortunes are punishments from God?
I know that I’ve heard this said before from Christians. Everything that’s happening to you…
must mean that God’s closing a door
you should stop what your doing
you shouldn’t move
you must have done something wrong
your kids are like they are because you have sin in your life
Isn’t this exactly what Job’s friends did when he lost everything? All of his children died, suffered severe illness, lost all of his wealth…obviously these were punishments from God, against Whom he must have sinned. And what happens at the end of the book? God rails against Job’s friends for their unkind words.


So now, get yourselves seven young bulls and seven rams, go to my servant Iyov, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering. My servant Iyov will pray for you—because him I will accept—so that I won’t punish you as your boorishness deserves; because you have not spoken rightly about me, as my servant Iyov has.”
Concise Oxford English Dictionary (Boor)
boor /bɔː, bʊə/■ noun a rough and bad-mannered person.—DERIVATIVES boorish adjective boorishly adverb boorishness noun—ORIGIN 16th century
Blaming people for their suffering is unkind; its malicious, and only increases ones suffering. It’s bad enough to be suffering, but even worse to be told that the suffering we’re under is deserved and is our fault in some way.
This is life. Things happen. It’s all part of our soul correction, how we respond to different events in our lives, whether blessings, sufferings, illnesses, or calamity.

Said Raba, “How long you live, how many children you have and how much money you make depend on not merit but one’s star.”

B. For lo, Rabbah and R. Hisda were both upright rabbis. One master prayed for rain and it rained, the other prayed for rain and it didn’t come.

C. R. Hisda lived to ninety-two, Rabbah to forty.

D. In R. Hisda’s household sixty marriage feasts were celebrated, in Rabbah’s house sixty funerals were held.

E. At R. Hisda’s house they fed first-rate wheat bread to the dogs and it went to waste. At Rabbah’s house all they had was barley bread for human beings, and even that they didn’t have.

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and this includes how we evaluate others. We should ask ourselves the following questions when we find ourselves thinking or speaking critically of others.
Am I being fair?
And if I’m not, why am I drawn to evaluate others so harshly?
The Babylonian Talmud: A Translation and Commentary Hospitality. Giving People the Benefit of the Doubt

Our rabbis have taught on Tannaite authority:

B. To him who gives one’s fellow the benefit of the doubt they give the benefit of the doubt. And there was the case of someone who came down from Upper Galilee and was employed by someone in the South for three years. On the eve of the Day of Atonement he said to him, “Pay me my wages so that I can go and feed my wife and children.”

C. He said to him, “I don’t have any ready cash.”

D. He said to him, “Then pay me in produce.”

E. He said to him, “I don’t have any.”

F. “Give me land.”

G. “I don’t have any.”

H. “Give me cattle.”

I. “I don’t have any.”

J. “Give me pillows and blankets.”

K. “I don’t have any.”

L. So he tossed his things over his shoulder and went home depressed. After the festival the householder took the man’s salary in hand and with it three loaded asses, one bearing food, another drink, the third, various goodies, and he went to the man’s house. After they had eaten and drunk, he gave him his salary. He said to him, “When you said to me, ‘Give me my wages,’ and I said to you, ‘I don’t have any ready cash,’ of what did you suspect me?”

M. “I thought that you might have come upon a real bargain to buy with the cash.”

N. “And when you said to me, ‘Give me cattle,’ and I said to you, ‘I don’t have cattle,’ of what did you suspect me?”

O. “I thought that it might have been hired out to third parties.”

P. “When you said to me, ‘give me land,’ and I said to you, ‘I don’t have any land,’ of what did you suspect me?”

Q. “I thought that it might have been sharecropped by a third party.”

R. “And when I said to you, ‘I don’t have produce,’ of what did you suspect me?”

S. “I thought that they might not be tithed.”

T. “And when I said to you, ‘I don’t have pillows and blankets,’ of what did you suspect me?”

U. “I thought that you might have sanctified all your property to Heaven.”

V. He said to him, “By the Temple service! That’s just how things were. I vowed all my property [to others] on account of my son, Hyrcanus, who does not engage in Torah study, and when I went to my fellows in the South, they released me from my vow, and you, just as you gave me the benefit of the doubt, may the Omnipresent give you the benefit of the doubt.”

When its appropriate to judge another cautiously.
Rabbi Joshua taught this dictum: “Regard all men as if they were thieves, yet honor them as you would honor Rabbi Gamliel.” (Ibid., p91).
Rabbi Joshua was asked by a man for hospitality, which he provided, i.e., food, shelter, and a bed in the attic. He removed the ladder from the attic, and the man injured himself as he was attempting to get away after stealing some items.
Treat others generously, but take actions to guard your property. All that locks do is keep honest people honest.
When its not appropriate to judge another favorably.
Judging fairly does not mean judging naively. If someone does many bad, even wicked things, we are not obligated to come up with some story as to why that behavior happened.
Rabbi Simcha Zissel Ziv stated, “One who gets into the habit of ignoring the acts of wicked people [or trying to explain them away] will begin to condone their practices…We must oppose them and take a stand against them.” (Ibid., p92)
When we have misjudged others.
When we have misjudged others, we should go out of our way to do good towards that person. He or she may not know why we are acting as we are, but hopefully our kindnesses will wipe out any negative feelings we felt, and might help us to judge others favorably in the future.

‘Eli said to her, “How long are you going to stay drunk? Stop drinking your wine!” But Hannah answered, “No, my lord, I am a very unhappy woman. I have not drunk either wine or other strong liquor; rather, I’ve been pouring out my soul before Adonai. Don’t think of your servant as a worthless woman; because I have been speaking from the depth of my distress and anger.” Then ‘Eli replied, “Go in peace. May the God of Isra’el grant what you have asked of him.”

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