Our Estimate of Other Men
Proverbs 17:15
He that justifies the wicked, and he that comdemns the just, even they both are abomination to the LORD.

We may regard such an estimate from three points of view: in its effect on those thus estimated, on society in general, and on ourselves. Did we ever question with ourselves, "On what is my estimate of others usually founded"? If we did we should surely be dissatisfied with our present practice. It would be unnatural and absurd to pretend that no influence should be exerted over our estimate of men by the organs of public opinion; equally unreasonable to decry them as perfectly unreliable in the matter. But there may be very much untruthfulness, short of what is utter and absolute; very much which is utter and absolute, and yet escapes detection. What is the duty of Christians with regard to the blame and praise of others? Insist first on the general duty of conscientiousness in forming all our estimates of other men. It should be our aim as Christians, not obsequiously to follow public opinion, but to act for ourselves and for God. There is a timidity, even amounting to cowardice, among us in forming and expressing our opinion of other men. The body of Christian men among us seems to have abjured the duty of conscientiousness; and this abjuration is one of the most fearful symptoms of our times. The duty of estimating others as in the sight of God is not by any means a light one, but a most solemn one. Unholy and unprincipled life, wherever found, ought to be protested against by the servants of God. There is a sad tendency among us to overlook those faults which fall in with the practice of the day, which consist in the neglect of unwelcome duties, or the committal of lightly-esteemed sins. The second person who is said to be an abomination to the Lord is "he that condemneth the just." We are always more prone to condemn than to justify. It is an abuse of our instinct of self-preservation to be ever ready with our hostility to other men. The general propensity to depress others renders it very easy, in any case, to condemn. Point out a few ways by which we may guard ourselves against this tendency to condemn the just. The first caution is this — look ever at the life which is palpable rather than at the motive or the creed, which are usually mere matters of surmise. A second caution is, avoid and refuse to use, and protest against the use of, all party names. Another caution is this — form your opinions of others, not at the prompting of the world, but as under the eye of God. For all our most secret judgments of men and things we are accountable to Him.

(H. Alford, B. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the LORD.

WEB: He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the righteous, both of them alike are an abomination to Yahweh.

Just Estimates
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