And I charged your judges at that time, “Hear the disputes between your people and judge fairly, whether the case is between two Israelites or between an Israelite and a foreigner residing among you. Do not show partiality in judging; hear both small and great alike. Do not be afraid of anyone, for judgment belongs to God.
In today's society, most recognize that the more social recognition, power and money you have, the less you are held to account for your actions, even when you blatantly break the rules. From politicians to celebrities, there is no shame bending or breaking the law because there is almost no will to pursue justice and there is an assumption of preferential treatment if their conduct is questioned due to their status. Even the Supreme Court has had to resist subverting justice to a mob that threatens to riot every time a decision is made they do not agree with. In the face of all the attempts to water down justice, God calls all of us to judge rightly, using his rubric for conduct, not our personal bias or favor, in every aspect of our lives.
Yesterday, I responded to increasingly violent yelling, running into our living room to see two of our boys ready to end their dispute with fists. While it is easy to yell and jump to conclusions about who started it, I have been trying to approach their fights more calmly. After settling them down, I heard their versions of what happened and, as the highest ranked person in the room by seniority, I had to step in as their judge. I knew that if I picked favorites, I would cause resentment with the one I cheated and would undermine my authority in future disputes. I heard both of their grief and in the end they agreed to share the toys that they were fighting over.
Judging well takes courage, especially when most scenarios are not as straightforward as a dispute between children but it is what we are called to do.
Daily Battle Order:
Are you afraid to be a judge? Is that because you are only using your own skills? Think how many decisions you make each day to fulfill your responsibilities and remember that you need God’s help to judge rightly. Today ask God him to pour out wisdom, patience and courage upon you so you can have the tools needed to judge rightly.