“Therefore, each of us will give an account of himself to God. 13 Therefore we must not pass judgment on one another, but rather determine never to place an obstacle or a trap before a brother or sister.”
1 Peter 4:17
“For it is time for judgment to begin, starting with the house of God. And if it starts with us, what will be the fate of those who are disobedient to the gospel of God?”
Judgment. No one wants to be the recipient, but all have been participants in either judging others or being judged themselves.
In His perfect wisdom, God designed a system of justice in place to judge our actions. Man sets up his own system of judgment, too, to condemn one another.
At the root of judgment from any human being is pride. Pride in our own sinful, myopic condition that we would think we could ever be in a place to pass judgment on another creation, made in God’s image.
There are so many more motivations in the act of judgment, though. Sometimes we want to make ourselves feel better about our decisions, or we manipulate others with judgment to try to get them to do something we want.
Sounds pretty ugly. That’s because judgment from man is going to be man-centered, but judgment that Christ gives is perfect and redemptive.
God judges our hearts to bring us to repentance and show us our sinful condition. Man judges to prove a position, inflict pain, manipulate or inflate self.
Man cannot judge other’s motivations, for we cannot see the heart – only God can. Still, the default sinful condition of man is to presume and judge brothers or sisters in Christ.
Despite out corrupt nature, we do not have to give in to judgment. The heart of man is deceitful, but God. He is gracious and able to help us lay down our judgments and put on forgiveness. Sometimes people can hurt us and boundaries have to be put up so they cannot hurt or condemn us further. Sometimes we have to lay down our desire to please man in his faulty judgments, too.
Maybe some of us feel we deserve judgment – we all do. But Christ bore that judgment for us all. In this world we have relationships that are broken from sin and ensuing consequences, and people will judge us until the day we die, but all of those judgments fall off our shoulders and are laid at the feet of our Savior – the One, perfect, Righteous Judge.
Lord, thank You for the sweet victory You give to walk in freedom and forgiveness. Thank You for bearing our judgment. Help us to consider others better than ourselves and to discern others in the light of the grace that we have been given.