Judgment seems to come pretty easily for us. We can find fault with other drivers, complain about the slow cashier, and register our disgust with the unresponsive waiter, all without taxing a single brain cell. We can trace this all the way back to Genesis chapter 3 when Adam found fault with Eve and with God, who gave her to him. I didn’t say good judgment comes easily for us, just judgment.
Good judgment—what Solomon calls discernment—requires work. We have to practice to develop the skill to determine bad from good, whether morals or manners. A discerning mind makes it possible for us to live life successfully. A judgmental spirit makes it likely that we’ll have few close relationships.
One way we can develop discernment is to maintain a proper perspective: “I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment.” Paul reminds us that if we remember how we ourselves are broken, defective creatures, we’ll be able to develop “sound judgment.” That’s much better than being judgmental of others. And it will help us to see how God is continually at work in us and those around us, flawed as we are.
That’s something to think about.