Freed from Judgement
Judgmental. That is another word that describes me before God changed my heart. Plenty of people out there believe that God's people are religious and judgmental. Sadly, they are right. Notice how those two things go together? If I choose religion and a set of rules to define God, how can I not begin to cast that same idea on others? My judgmental attitude was disguised as a "sense of justice". I wanted to see the world do right and be right. This is where the enemy ensnares us yet again. The desire for righteousness does come from God and he does want me to be holy. The snare is when I start believing that by following the rules I become holy. I do not. Holiness comes through the blood Jesus shed on the cross. I can never do anything to earn it and I am deceived if I think I can. When I believe God's love is earned, I start casting blame and judgment on others. Actually, what I really end up doing is putting myself on a pedestal and looking down at everyone else. As I say with everything else, it all comes back to God's love.
I know for me, being judgmental was just a way of protecting my insecurity. I was always so afraid I wasn't doing enough for God to love me that I thought I could compare myself to others and that would make me feel better about myself. It sounds completely silly now but it is the truth. Really, that's what we are doing when we judge others, comparing our flaws to their flaws. We are afraid of what would happen if the light was cast on our own heart and so we work hard holding up deflectors so the light will shine on someone else. We are afraid that if the truth of our own flaws were exposed, God would not love us. What is with this love thing?! Everything always comes back to love. Well, it is misconceptions about God's love that cause us to lash out at each other in judgement. If God's love were conditional then there would be room for judgement. We would be running a race to see who could earn it by doing the most good. However, unconditional love means exactly what it says. There are no conditions on it. God loves me despite my many flaws. If I believe that then how can I look on anyone else and deceive myself into thinking they are unlovable because of their flaws? It's absurd! Yes, it is absurd but, unfortunately, it is a trick the enemy has been using since the first sin.
Eve eats the fruit. She offers it to Adam and he eats. The first thing they both do when confronted by God is blame someone else. Immediately, they start casting judgement. "Don't blame me". Adam says. "This woman that you gave me tricked me". "It wasn't my fault God" Eve says. "The serpent deceived me". Of course we are talking about the birth of sin so there was a whole lot they didn't understand about God's love. They had not worried before now about whether or not God would love them when they sinned. They felt no shame until now.
Judgement is about shame. I hate the shame of my imperfection. I want to hide it. I judge others to try and feel some relief about my own sin. The thing I have to remember is that Jesus really did erase my shame through the cross. God really does see perfection in me now. Oh, and guess what? He sees perfection in you, and you, and you. He looks on us with eyes of redemption. He has freed us from the weight of judgement. We have no right to judge. We are made perfect in his love and it is vast enough to encompass all of our imperfection. I pray that I will be wise to the enemy's scheme and not fall into his trap of condemnation. When I am tempted to judge I will look in the mirror and remind myself that I am no different in my need for redemption. God has satisfied the law of sin and death by giving himself as a sacrifice. There is no condemnation, no judgement for any who believe. His mercies are new every single morning.
"There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. He has freed you from the law of sin and death". Romans 8:1