Just Appraisal

To be just means "to be upright and impartial in one’s dealings, rendering everyone his due, equitable." An appraisal is "a formal evaluation of the performance of a person over a particular period, evaluation or assessment in this manner, intended to improve individual performance." To appraise means "to assess (someone or something), to examine by an expert to determine current value."

Just appraisal is the art of making a fair and balanced judgment of a person, organization, or situation. Being able to make a just appraisal is critical to assessing a person’s character. Making a just appraisal is the conjoint action of several mental faculties focused on making a balanced judgment.

Edna Lister on Making a Just Appraisal

You have no vision on the inner until you use what you have on the outer. Your analysis of facts incorporates the abstract application of your high faculty of imagination, and you can instantly and logically synthesize or envision a higher point of Ascension. Obedience becomes the instantaneous synthesis of what you already know with all that comes to you.—Edna Lister, A Perfect Design for Ascension, 1941.

We can’t afford to be gullible or soft, but must equip ourselves to make the proper appraisals of everything — individuals, land, houses, cars. Our ability to make a just appraisal is even more important in our relationships with others. For instance, we do not put trust in another, whose discretion is a leaky sieve, nor can we burden others with confidences past their ability to hold them private.—Edna Lister, Rose-Colored Glasses, April 22, 1956.

Applying logic, reason, discrimination, discretion and discernment forms the basis of your inner knowing and you can make a just appraisal on the outer.—Edna Lister, May 28, 1959.

God gave us the faculty of reason to use as just appraisal.—Edna Lister, What Is Virtue? July 12, 1960.

A just appraisal is different from analysis, criticism or suspicion. Individual opinions and prejudices are always involved in analysis, and we can still be critical, condemning and intensely personal. We generally base analysis on a self satisfying insight that results in self-gratification and self congratulation. Criticism creates a black cloud of blame over the one criticized, and judgment passed holds both in bondage until the criticizer pays the debt. The last debt forgiven is where one has criticized unjustly. Suspicion generally creates the thing of which one is suspicious. A just appraisal includes three steps:

Complete surrender of self under the law of forgiveness:

I forgive him, but he’d better never do it again.

Father, you forgive him.

Father, forgive me, lest I offend my brother or cause him to stumble.

Fervently praise all good the person has previously done, which is the basis of declaring it good. Lift the person into the Father’s arms, knowing that He does the work.—Edna Lister, May 27, 1961.

To apply a just appraisal, you cannot be gullible about surface appearances. If outer personality stands between you and the Father, you are blind. A just appraisal involves acknowledgment of any self delusion, and most people do not like to admit they have deluded themselves.—Edna Lister, June 12, 1961.

Judging a person’s potential is different from justly appraising his ability to perform. We pay a debt for holding another accountable to his vision level, rather than to his appraisal level.—Edna Lister, July 26, 1961.

The Oversoul I AM consciousness must rule the emotions before we can make a just appraisal.—Edna Lister, Many Pearls, Many Treasures, November 25, 1962.

Watch that your just appraisal does not degenerate into mere criticism. Each has imperfections that he is making perfect, each in his own way. Who can look at another and say, "You are wrong"? Look at yourself first to see what is wrong there.—Edna Lister, December 10, 1962.

One must make a just appraisal to know what and where to lift. Look up and ask for help. State the need in as few words as possible.—Edna Lister, January 29, 1963.

Do not allow a just appraisal to degenerate into criticism. Do not be critical, or dramatize about self, another person, government or situation.—Edna Lister, February 7, 1963.

We have no right to judge, but we do have the right to make a just appraisal, which we may not use for personal gain or self-justification.—Edna Lister, The Legend of Isis and Osiris, April 14, 1964.

Jesus was all-knowing — he knew each soul’s history at a glance and made a just appraisal of all who contacted him. The gift of a just appraisal comes only with complete universal compassion and no misuse of Power. Jesus knew each disciple’s potentialities, how far they were from a just appraisal of others and achieving their own potential.—Edna Lister, The Sword, Your Flaming Scepter of Power, April 19, 1964.

You can obey laws, but you must know the reasons behind them to make a just appraisal. A just appraisal must apply Light from above to the situation.—Edna Lister, The Sword: Your Flaming Scepter of Power, April 19, 1964.

You use a just appraisal to focus the Light of God on the situation.—Edna Lister, October 28, 1964.

A just appraisal of one’s self often involves a good mental kick in the seat of your own pants.—Edna Lister, October 26, 1966.

Standing still while saying, "Let there be Light," is our answer to the challenge of faith as the evidence of things not seen. Standing still becomes the actual practice in the use of the active power of nonresistance, which instantly begins to work things together for our good. It also sets into motion the law of just appraisal, and we find it easy to stand still and know before moving or speaking. By tuning in on the fundamental laws of all creation, we can take everything that comes to us under the Power contained in and issuing from a just appraisal.

Exactly what do we mean by just appraisal? We are not supposed to allow ourselves to be made over or pushed around by anything or anyone. Unless we stand in poised stillness, we can grow suspicious of anything or anyone, even descending into judgment of another.

To make a just appraisal of anyone, anything or any situation, we must not react in repudiation to it, even though we feel or may know it to be wrong. We accept Light and say, "Let there be Light," then stand still and wait. The right words of refusal to be moved or touched are not rejection or counted as a judgment, and right words will be put upon our lips.

Standing still and waiting does free others from ourselves and we, in turn, become free of all others under this just appraisal, which takes the place of all need to judge. Without our complete inner conviction that faith is only another name for divine Mind in action, we can never move into our full expression of perfect acceptance and our standing still while God does the work. And it is while divine Mind is doing through us and living as us that just appraisal can take over.—Edna Lister, Faith in Action, 1968.

From applying logic and reason under thinking, our great creative tool, it becomes easy to move higher into the Light, where we apply discretion, discrimination and discernment to our analysis under a just appraisal before we speak or act. When we are lifted in consciousness into this timeless, spaceless place of nonresistance, we move where the "impossibles" of man are absorbed by the Light and the "possibles" of God as divine Mind move forth as miracles. We, by the use of our faculties of logic, reason, discretion, discrimination and discernment applied as just appraisal, draw all the potential powers of Light from the vast center of the principle of nonresistance to operate under the glory and the faith of our spoken Word.—Edna Lister, Faith in Action, 1968.

You must apply the law of just appraisal to the physical appearance. Reputation and character write themselves on our outer forms. You must have some idea of what the visible form says as a key to the inner.—Edna Lister, How to Make a Just Appraisal, May 14, 1968.

A just appraisal means "cast not thy pearls before swine." You don’t burden another with more than he can carry. Without a just appraisal, you become a tempter, and it may delay your miracle.—Edna Lister, November 7, 1968.

You contract a debt when you relate a just appraisal in another’s presence. Go to God’s Mercy Seat.—Edna Lister, November 15, 1968.

At the end of one thousand burnt offerings we ask for good judgment, which gives us the ability to make a truly just appraisal.—Edna Lister, 1,000 Burnt Offerings, November 23, 1969.

Illumination plus intuition and common sense gives you a just appraisal.—Edna Lister, Undated Papers, 1933-1971.

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Edna Miriam Lister
The original Pioneering Mystic,
Christian Platonist philosopher, American Idealist, Founder, Society of the Universal Living Christ, minister, teacher, author, wife, and mother.

Edna Lister

Etymology of just: Late Middle English: via Old French from Latin justus, from jus ’law, right’.

Etymology of appraise: Late Middle English (in the sense ’set a price on’): alteration of apprize, by association with praise. The current sense dates from the mid 19th century.

Just appraisal is a law of doing.


Harper, Douglas. Online Etymology Dictionary, 2024.

The Holy Bible. King James Version (KJV).

The Oxford English Dictionary: Compact Ed., 2 vols. E.S.C. Weiner, ed. Oxford University Press, 1971.

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