Week 2: Internal Relational Skills
DAY 12: The Fear of Being Judged
There is no getting around making judgments. We do it everyday. However, it would be important to understand what God says about it so we can, in one more area, reflect His character and glory into the world. As I read several passages about judging and about judgment, I found a consistent truth about God’s judgment. His judgment is righteous, full of His faithfulness, true and merciful. The other thing that is clear is that He is the one true Judge. Judgment belongs to Him. Another comforting thing I found is that when Jesus came, He did not come to judge, but to save. (Jn. 12:47) When He came to save, He taught about love, forgiveness of sins, showing mercy, and having compassion. He then demonstrated all that He had taught by paying the ultimate price for our sins on the cross. He tells us He desires mercy not sacrifice (Mt. 12:7; Mk. 12:33) and yet for us to receive mercy, He had to lay down His life as the final sacrificial Lamb. Before He made this ultimate sacrifice, He tells us again in John 12 that HE did not come to judge, but that if a person does not believe what He taught, the very words He spoke would be what judges him or her. (verse 48) The amazing thing is the same words He spoke, if believed, is salvation and keeps us covered and confident on the day of Judgment! 1 John 4:16-18 says, “We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.…” If God is the One and Only Judge (Js. 4:12), then once we have the above issues settled with Him, we no longer need to fear judgment.
However, in our relationships, I see a prevalence of the “fear of being judged”. We only have control over two things in this: handling our own judgments against others so we are not guilty of the very thing we fear, and two, laying down that fear, and holding on to the truth that when you are in Christ, not only do you not have to fear His judgment since the issue is already settled, but You have access to the Prince of Peace so others’ problems with being judgmental do not have to affect you. When You turn to Him and are enamored with Him and Him with You, the opinions of others fade. He gives you the ability to think the way He does about those human judgments and it becomes an opportunity to become more renewed and refined. And when His standard becomes your standard and you become a God-pleaser not a people-pleaser, you are standing in a firm and spacious place that does not toss you around like the changing whims, judgments, and “standards” of the world. Get off that roller coaster and stand on the Rock!
Declare over yourself, “I am in Christ so I have confidence to stand in the day of judgment. He has already settled the issue and He is my Rock and my standard on whom I stand. All other judgments are not my concern. If someone brings something to my attention, I will consider the validity of their opinion, and decide if I need to adjust, but I will only do so if what they bring to my attention lines up with His perspective on the matter. I stand in a firm and spacious place and have plenty of time and space to work on becoming like Him.”