Joshua 16-18; 1 Corinthians 4
How often have you jumped to conclusions about someone you didn't really know? And by really know, I mean know their struggles, their heart, their weaknesses, their pain. When someone opens up to you about those things, they really trust you, thus they will trust your advice, opinion, etc. There are some lessons to be taken in jumping to judgments in today's readings.
We need to remember that we are all loved by God. God cares for each of us, whether or not we have accepted Him into our lives. He loves each of us, no matter what we've done, are doing, or will do. He pours out mercy on us every single day. We deserve so much less, yet He gives and gave us so much more. As the land continued to be divided up in Joshua, I can't help but consider how God chose these people to do His work and carry His Name. It is no different for us as His followers. He has chosen us to carry His mission and do the tasks that seem tedious or less than glamorous. If God chose you, can He trust you? Your ministry begins the minute you say "yes, Lord. I want you in my life."
The daughters of Zelophehad were a prime example of why traditions can lead to misleading judgment. Moses had put what was right ahead of the tradition of women not inheriting land back in Numbers, and now we are seeing their land distributed to them. Don't decide on actions, judgments, and a path because "that's how it's always been done" or "that's the way that always has been." Scope out the whole story or situation and rely on God to be the judge and make the direction clear to you. Imagine the impact you can have on someone's heart and life because you went a different direction than the typical treatment or judgment they always get.
There were seven tribes that procrastinated in getting their share of land. I think we tend to procrastinate because we think something will be hard or that we feel we are incapable of doing it. Even if something ends up being hard, it makes you stronger and teaches you something. If you are feeling incapable, allow God to show you His power through you. He is waiting to teach you how capable He is. Who knows? You may even completely misjudge the situation and end up having fun with it. Work at seeing something as an opportunity, rather than a task and you will continue to grow in Who God is and feel the power He has in your life.
Paul leans in pretty hard toward the people of Corinth as he warns them not to make judgments ahead of time about people and riches. This is still true for us today. We cannot count on riches to make us happy and carry us to eternity. We cannot judge people because we think we know how they view God and how they walk with Him. The truth is, that is for God to do. Paul reminds us that we are all human and we don't have the ability to judge one another, and we will all fail at one point or another. What we think is worthy is this world is actually foolish in God's eyes. What is looked down upon in this world is actually honored in God's eyes. Leave the judgment to Him.
Nothing in this world is as it seems to God. He views what is rich as poor, and what is poor as rich, as well as greatness as the lowest, and the lowest as the greatest. We shouldn't rely on past traditions to be a judge in every situation, nor is it our job ever to judge the heart of other people when it comes to their relationship with God. We are merely humans with human eyes and human intentions. God sees the heart for what it truly is. Before you jump, get the whole story. Before you decide about something, see it as God would see it.