But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by a human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. 4 For I know of nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord. 5 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 4:3-5. NKJV.)
I saw this scripture in the comments section of a dear sister in Christ's blog and it was such an indescribable blessing to me that I had to share it!!!
I feel it is so easy to look at a person's life and pick it to pieces (at times tearing down instead of lifting up). However, without taking a single step in their shoes leaves portions missing to the (sometimes complex) puzzle. Only knowing someone on the surface leaves much to be discovered as though looking at them in the dark while they shine a flashlight on their own face. Features look distorted, perhaps unrecognizable or questionable. It is my opinion that a lot of hard work goes into truly knowing an individual just as it takes a lot to dig deep into God's word. Merely staying on the exterior (top layer) leads to misunderstanding.
Out and out sin is one thing (James 4:17, Revelations 21:8, among many others) but preference is something completely different! For example, my personal partialities range from little things (like teaching Sunday school instead of volunteering elsewhere in the church) that do not really make waves, to mediocre things (that stir up emotions in others at times) such as working in the home (rather than out of the home) and "homeschooling", to bigger things that can really cause a ruckus and get juices flowing - for instance favoring Calvinism over Arminianism. Only God can see hearts. Now that is not to say there should not be discernment as Matthew 10:16 teaches "be wise as serpents and innocent as doves". What I am saying is,
"So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin." (James 4:17.)
Further scripture on the matter:
Acts 23:1: I have lived my life before God in all good conscience…
Job 9:15: Though I am in the right, I cannot answer him; I must appeal for mercy to my accuser (judge).
1 John 3:21: Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God;
Matthew 13:29: But he said, 'No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them.
Romans 2:16: on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.
1 Corinthians 3:13: each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done.
2 Corinthians 10:18: For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.
1 Corinthians 3:8: He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor.
For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. (James 1:23-24. ESV.)
Behold, God is great, and we know him not; the number of his years is unsearchable. (Job 36:26. ESV.)
And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:18. ESV.)
for we walk by faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7. ESV.)
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. (Matthew 5:8. ESV.)
But if anyone loves God, he is known by God. (1 Corinthians 8:3. ESV.)
When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. (1 Corinthians 13:11-12. ESV.)