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Be Cautious When You Criticize

By Theodore Epp

      Romans 14:10-13

      When we realize that each of us must give an account to God, it will cause us to be more cautious about criticizing a Christian brother.

      We will then heed what 1 Corinthians 4:5 says: "So do not make any hasty or premature judgments before the time when the Lord comes [again], for He will both bring to light the secret things that are [now hidden] in darkness, and disclose and expose the [secret] aims (motives and purposes) of hearts. Then every man will receive his [due] commendation from God" (Amplified).

      This is advice that Paul gave to the Corinthians, and it applies just as directly to each believer today.

      We shall all be judged one day--not by each other's standards and not even by our own standards. We shall be judged by the standards of Christ. Before God alone, we shall give an account for our own actions and not for those of the other person.

      I do not have to give an account for you, and you do not have to give an account for me. Before God, I will have to give an account for myself.

      No wonder Paul said, "Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way" (Rom. 14:13). In other words, we should stop turning critical eyes on each other.

      This is sometimes a difficult instruction to follow. It is natural to always justify oneself and one's own actions in the face of what others are doing. It is natural to criticize the other person because he does not see or do things our way.

      "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad" (2 Cor. 5:10).

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