Why Does the Bible Tell Us to Judge Ourselves?
Q: Why does the Bible tell us to judge ourselves?
A: The Biblical instruction to judge ourselves was given in 1 Corinthians 11:31: “For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged.”
This scripture was given as an important part of understanding how God disciplines His children. If we don’t understand the truth about God’s discipline, we may give Him credit for bad things that happen in our lives.
You can see where this could lead—if we really believe God is responsible for bad things in our lives, deep down we will doubt His love and consequently the integrity of other promises in His Word. It is subtle, but it will hinder our faith and keep us from receiving from God.
On the other hand, we understand discipline entirely differently when we start knowing God is love and God is a good God. We no longer see His discipline as physical punishment, but rather as training and instruction from the Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16). Studying the Word of God—not negative events in our lives—is what will correct and instruct us.
Now the term judge takes on a new light. First Corinthians 11:32 talks about being judged and chastened by the Lord so that we will not be condemned with the world. The Greek word chastened as translated in this verse means "to educate, instruct or train," rather than punish. God is not looking for ways to punish us. He is interested in educating, instructing and training us in right-standing with Him so we can have all the benefits of godly living.
First Corinthians 11:31 tells us that if we would judge or examine ourselves first, we would not be judged (by anyone else). The best way is to judge (examine) and correct yourself with the Word first, before God has to bring it to your attention.
Run to God when you make a mistake, not away from Him. Be quick to confess and repent. This will keep Satan from having an opportunity to operate in your life. Disobedience makes you weak in faith and vulnerable to attack.
Failure to operate in this type of self-discipline allows the enemy to bring weakness, sickness and even death (1 Corinthians 11:28-30). Satan is the one responsible for any destruction and evil in your life, not God (John 10:10). God’s will for you is abundant life, but you have a responsibility to keep yourself strong in the Word and judge yourself.
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