Tuesday, May 18, 2010

"Only God Can Judge Me" ... Um, no. I don't think so.

I have seen the words "Only God Can Judge Me" on various social networks such as Myspace, Facebook, and AIM statuses. I have even seen it on some apparel. I believe that the mentioned statement is an attempt for some to put a halt on the criticism against themselves or against those they love. There is nothing wrong with that.  We want to protect those that we love and ourselves, don't we ? However, I believe that the real question for me is: "Is it true that only God can judge me ?". For me, the answer is NO.  Most of us know all too well that we are judged by others day in and day out. We may as well start handing out gavels and robes to everyone we come across. Everyone has some sort of judgment to make against another person, place or thing: "My husband is great" , "Such-and-such restaurant serves horrible (or great) food" , "My neighbor is fantastic (or gets on my nerves), and "Such-and-such car sucks (or is fabulous) !". We judge our children on a regular basis, we judge the mailman, we judge our children's teachers (whether positive or negative, not really knowing him or her). We may be praising someone on his or her accomplishments, but "behind the scenes" they are "something else".  Am I saying that it is wrong to have an opinion ? Absolutely not ! Ultimately, God knows our hearts and intentions. However, if judging someone makes you feel better about yourself, then THAT is a serious problem that YOU have to deal with. YOU HAVE ISSUES.

I believe that the point in question with the statement "Only God Can Judge Me" is that people refuse to listen to what others have to say about them, ESPECIALLY if it is not in good taste, not valid or not what they want to hear. So, do we then prefer to be judged only when the judgment about us is positive ? If so, are we then being hypocrites ? Perhaps we should learn how to take criticism. Do we only surround ourselves with people who tell us what we want to hear ? How are we suppose to grow spiritually, emotionally and mentally if we set those boundaries and limits for ourselves ? How do we handle criticism about ourselves that is completely false ?  Do we go after false criticism with a vengeance ? Is that what Jesus would do ? Hmmm, something to consider.

At one point or another, we have judged someone without thinking first, we have judged in anger or we have judged simply because we felt like it, only to later regret it. Some of us have even gone a step further of judging someone else only to later say: "God forgive me but I feel that so-and-so is ...." (I will admit, I have been guilty of that !). Does that exempt us from being held responsible ? NO ! WE ARE STILL JUDGING !

I would never want to think that I have the right to judge someone. Words are very powerful. Hence, the reason why we should always ask God to show us what we have done or said that is not according to his word, will or instructions so that we may in turn ask HIM for forgiveness. If we have spoken wrongly or UNJUSTLY against someone else, we should ask God to forgive us for that.  Our words have tremendous impact and carry much weight on how our listeners view people or things we are speaking about. We must remember that not everyone is going to follow-up and verify the information that is given to them, not necessarily because of ignorance or lack of access to verify the information provided, but because they are simply too busy. Not everyone is going to listen to us with spiritual/Godly ears. So, whatever you and I tell someone about someone else or something else will remain in their memory bank and it may affect how they react to certain people or things. For that, YOU (WE) will be responsible:

"The tongue has the power of life and death,

and those who love it will eat its fruit." ~~ Proverbs 18:21

“But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for

him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea. - Mark 9:42

Sounds harsh, I know, but that is how passionate our God is about the impact that we have on other people. This means that not only our words but the lives we live have influence on others and we will be held responsible for the good and bad impressions we leave on others.

So, can only God judge me ? NO, BUT who can truly judge me JUSTLY ? : ONLY GOD ! Some may have a bad impression of you, some may misunderstand you, or some may just make you a target for their own amusement. Ultimately, God has the final word. Do not concern yourself with what others think or believe about you. THEY will be held responsible for that. On the other hand, take the time to consider what those near you are saying about you. Some of the feedback may be to your own benefit and growth. Do not have a stubborn heart:

"So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts,

to follow their own counsels" - Psalm 81:12

Believe me, you do not want to follow what your stubborn heart tells you to do. Take the time to listen to what GOD is telling you to do. That whisper in your ear, that feeling in your gut, that voice in your head is HIM. Some people are actually God-sent and are used to deliver messages to you. It is your responsibility to verify whether it is God-sent or not; you have to follow through.

If you have mistakenly judged someone, ask God for forgiveness. If you have a broken relationship with someone, God is able to repair it, only if you are willing to do so. Ask HIM for guidance, ask HIM for the courage and  ask HIM for the right words to use to proceed to restore those broken relationships in your life.

Therefore, before you judge someone, take the time to really get to know that person. Ask God to guide you and to give you the right talents and words to deal with him or her. THINK before you speak. You will be amazed at what the Lord will do in your life if you TRULY submit yourself to Him. It will come naturally because you will allow HIM to work in your life and you will allow HIM to speak on your behalf through you; His Words will flow off your tongue. Before you judge someone, ask God for guidance because your words may edify or BREAK someone. Can you live with that ? Can you live with the consequences and impact that your words have on others whether good or bad ? On one hand you may have GUILT on the other hand you may have EGO. Only God can GUIDE you in the right direction.

"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." ~~ Ephesians 4:29

" But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of JUDGMENT for every careless word they have spoken."  ~~ Matthew 12:36

1 comment:

  1. What a piece Xela.

    It is true that we are always being judged; whether we like it or not … whether we realize it or not.

    I unfortunately I am guilty of judging not only others but myself. (I am my worst critic for sure)

    When someone hurts me intentionally by making malicious remarks or back handed comments, I am almost tempted with responding in the same manner (stupid is as stupid does, no?). I figure if I answer at the level they are dishing then they will understand. Sometimes I am able to bridle my tongue; other times not so much.

    It is said “to know a man’s heart one must listen to his words” and I try to keep that in mind when I speak in general. As you know Xela this effort to guard our words comes across to others as passive and this makes them think we are door mats. My life story … lol

    Your article was a necessary reminder (for me anyway) to be aware of how I speak about others and to others.

    “For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by the human species, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

    With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings who are made in the likeness of God.

    From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. This need not be so, my brothers.

    Does a spring gush forth from the same opening both pure and brackish water?

    Can a fig tree, my brothers, produce olives, or a grapevine figs? Neither can salt water yield fresh.” James 3: 7-12


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