Wednesday, September 10, 2008

get off the seat

“Do not judge, so that you may not be judged.” – Matt 7:1

Jesus’ secret service agents not only pray “a tension.” We strive to rid ourselves of all condemnation as well. In other words, we strive to be persons that don’t condemn or blame others. We let go of the subtle ways we tell others that we disapprove of who they are, of what they do. We strive not to judge.

Judging others is always a failure to recognize who we are before God: servants. And “who are we to pass judgment on servants of another” (Rom 14:3)? It’s not that there isn’t a Judge or that Judgment doesn’t exist. There is. It does. It’s just that we’re going to “stand before the judgment seat of God” with everyone else (Rom 14:10). And there’s a big difference between standing before the seat and sitting on the seat. To sit on the seat is to forget who we are before God – and for our amnesia Paul says there is “no excuse.” “When you judge others you condemn yourself” (Rom 2:1).

Jesus tells us not to judge. He doesn’t qualify it by saying “don’t judge others.” No, we can’t judge at all. We’re to be like Paul who said, “I do not even judge myself” (1 Cor 4:3). Once again, we’re servants. We can’t sit on the seat and stand before it simultaneously. We have to choose.

FOR TODAY: Consider the many ways you sit on that seat reserved for God alone. And focus on the character of the One who does sit on that seat. Like Paul says, “It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn” (Rom 8:33-34)? Hopefully not us. Step down from that seat and stand humbly alongside everyone else.

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