Perhaps, unlike you, I have stood before many judges in my life, and I can honestly say, except for one particular federal judge, there is no love for the rest of them. I’m sure the majority of you may have stood before one due to a traffic infraction. Your opinion regarding judges would be based on the outcome of the judgment, provided you did what you did, were caught doing it and then adjudged accordingly. However, your “love” for the judge then becomes dependent upon whether you have the fine in your wallet or purse and you deemed it affordable.
I like this quotation, by Matthew Henry:
“The glory which by virtue of this choice they are designed for sets them above the world, and so makes them the objects of its envy. The saints shall judge the world, and the upright have dominion, and therefore they are hated.”
When you are living according to God’s Word, and come across those who are not, there is a separation. Those who “want” to live properly, although their feelings may be hurt in the process of the exchange, there comes an acquiescence because they know they are wrong, want to be right and are willing to set aside those feelings to gain ground on their lives. However, many will not in our walk.
When the statement, “Don’t judge me” is given, the proper response should be, “Okay, would you rather have me do it now or later?” The fact, my friends, we “are” judges, will be “judging” and should not shy away from doing so. What we are not able to do is carry out the “executive” sentencing of the judgment, which is reserved for God.
We should consider it a kind act when someone, in the right, corrects us, when we are in the wrong. Too many times we hear “personality”, “tone of voice”, “body language” and not the “message”. As a defendant in criminal proceedings, I can tell you first-hand it is the “personality, tone of voice and body language” our focus is on because we know and expect it will lead to the “message”, we might not want to hear. We are attempting to find something reasonable to hang our hopes on BEFORE the final verdict, the message, is given. This is a wrong method to follow. The issue comes down, as it should be, whether I was wrong or right. Did I violate a known law or rule? And if so, I should expect judgment whether it be by a court official, pastor, family member or friend. Their “judgment” is not wrong, but how I receive it might be. And this is where the focus should remain: what did I do?
We know, by experience, there will be those who are “in” the right and those who are “not in” the right, so the point we should make for our lives is to a part of those “inside” and not “outside”. And if you are outside, then understand “why” you are and get that fixed before someone who sits before you drop the gavel and makes a pronouncement you will not like.
March 7, 2016