“Judge nothing before the time” (1 Cor. 4:5) can be a difficult principle for thinking, experienced disciples to follow-through on; especially regarding other believers. At the beginning of chapter 4, the principal is clearly laid out that a steward is to be responsible. Paul says this:
“Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.” – 1 Corinthians 4:2 NKJV
As a believer, each one is accountable directly to Christ. Even if there are certain earthly roles involving hierarchy, Christ is still ultimately the one to do the judging of His people. Paul emphasizes that even though he has nothing to be accused of, it doesn’t make him justified; and he doesn’t stop there, he goes on to include this:
“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.” – 1 Corinthians 4:5 NKJV
Paul didn’t seek the praise of men or fear criticism, because it was obedience that motivated him. It was also the standard that held his words and pen in check.
How are you doing regarding feelings toward other believers? Does your prayer life include praying for other Christians and church leaders? Judge nothing before the time…