Loving Judgment

1 Corinthians 4:1-5

By Samantha Chambo

I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me (1 Cor. 4:3-4).

The Lord’s judgment has always been a scary thing to me. I grew up in a church where the possibilities of hell was preached on a regular basis and that filled me with enough fear to keep me out of trouble.

So it is a strange thing to hear Paul say that he prefers the judgment of God and that he cares very little about the judgment of people. After all, people can’t zap you with lighting, right? I listened to a teaching by NT Wright on YouTube[1] a while back that helped me to think differently about God’s judgment. He said that God’s judgment is a good thing. He said to imagine being wronged severely and then coming to a fair and righteous judge who will give you justice. He said that the judgment of God means that things will be set strait; made right. That is a good thing.

God’s judgment is an outflow of his love, righteousness and faithfulness. He is not like human beings who generally judge in order to gage superiority or advantage. I think this is the reason why Paul cares so little about the opinions of the congregants who’s sole interest was their own status in society. Paul knew that the only judgment that has eternal significance is that of Christ, and that is why he lived his life to the glory of God.

It gives me a great sense of security and peace to know that I can trust God to be a loving judge. It also lifts a weight of my shoulders to know that I can disengage from the judgment of people. God will make all things right.

Think about it

What effect did your attachment to the judgment of others have on your life and ministry?

For Today

Listen to people’s opinions of you and your efforts in order to improve where needed, not to determine your self-worth.

Prayer

We hear and are glad, and we rejoice, because of your judgments, O Lord (Psalm 97:8). Amen

 

 

[1] NT Wright, Surprised by Hope.

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