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Judging Others

Fruit tree flowers in spring. Blooming time.

“Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God.” 1Corinthians 4:5

There was a man who had four sons. He wanted them to learn to not judge things too quickly, so he sent them each on a quest to go and look at a pear tree that was a great distance away. He sent his first son in the winter, his second in the spring, his third in summer and his youngest in the fall. When they had all gone and come back, he called them together to describe what they had seen.

The first son said that the tree was ugly, bent, and twisted.

The second son said no, it was covered with green buds and full of promise.

The third son disagreed; he said it was laden with blossoms that smelled so sweet and looked so beautiful, it was the most graceful thing he had ever seen.

The last son disagreed with all of them; he said it was ripe and drooping with fruit, full of life and fulfillment.

After hearing all their responses, the wise father replied, “Sons, you are all right because you have each seen only one season in the tree’s life. But you cannot judge a tree, or a person, or anything else by only one season. Most things can only be measured at the end, when all the seasons have come to pass.”

Each of us has judged someone or something prematurely at some point in time in our lives, and we have also probably experienced the pain of being judged that way.

Lord, forgive us!

We need to give each other the benefit of the doubt. We need to look closely enough and long enough to see the big picture before we rule things out.

Why? Because God does that for us all the time.

–by George Whitten



Category: AllWorship Blog | 4 Replies

4 comments

  1. It’s a loving lesson from the father to his sons. He didn’t say three of them were wrong and only one of them right-his lesson was given in a nonjudgemental manner ensuring they understood his lesson provided a perfect example of what he was teaching.

  2. I read this weeks message and while it was uplifting I think the analogy provided may be incorrect. The advice given by Paul is based on judging others on the outward appearance without taking into consideration what may be going on in one’s heart/ spirit/ ones motives. God’s judgement (unlike man’s) will take into account the state of the heart, not just the actions and appearance. However judgment will not be based on what we hope to be or do in the future but what who we are and what we’ve done at the time of judgment. In the analogy given below, based upon the seasons in which the tree was viewed, each son was correct. We will be barren in winter and fruitful in summer. It would have been a problem and result in judgement if for example the last son who went in the season of fruit found the tree barren. Luke 13: 6-9 we would judge the tree as unfruitful while Christ would check the fertilizer. If I die today and meet my creator, I will be judged for what I have done from birth until now. Not on my plans and hopes for tomorrow or season of my life yet to come but on the seasons I have lived and what I did with them. The difference will be that while those around me judged my life on what they saw, God will also judge on the motives of my actions. This I believe is the essence of Paul’s teaching.


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