Guest Blogger, Laura Smith
A righteous judge always considers all the evidence and statements from eyewitnesses before coming to a verdict. A skilled judge perceives the heart of the matter and discerns whether a person is lying or being honest. He has been in the business long enough and has seen enough people come through who were very convincing, and even has memories of cases that came through his courtroom in his early years that he second guessed himself on his ruling.
Being a judge is a heavy responsibility. It requires integrity and an honest, unbiased heart, for if the judge’s heart is corrupt, he will not see clearly to discern the truth from a lie when he hears the people’s testimonies. His own lack of integrity muddies the water.
Is it any wonder God tells us not to judge, lest we be judged? Is He telling us never to discern right from wrong? No. In fact, He says the opposite. We are to judge RIGHTEOUS judgment. The heart of what He was saying when He told us not to judge was centered around living in integrity so we CAN see clearly and stand for righteousness, which in a nutshell is merely living a life of authentic love because of the Spirit of God who is living within us.
Making a judgment is not the same as condemning someone or sentencing them or degrading them. It is merely noticing and coming to a conclusion. It is discerning truth from lies. Where we go from there reveals our hearts.
Sometimes we react out of our pain and we lash out at those who have inflicted that pain on us. Does that mean we are judging them? Maybe, if you look at it as coming to a conclusion of what just happened. We are noticing, because of the pain, that there has been an injustice committed.
Pain is also a reveal-er of hearts – the heart of the one inflicting the pain as well as the one who is the victim of that pain. Noticing the cause and source of the pain is common sense. If you have two broken legs, you can try as much as you want to ignore the pain and sit across the room telling people you are fine, but inevitably, if you try to get up and walk, it’s going to be obvious that you really aren’t ‘just fine’. You are out of commission until the bones heal.
Noticing the broken bone, admitting to ourselves that it is indeed broken, and taking whatever measures we need to take to bring healing to that bone is personal responsibility. It is caring about ourselves so that we can be more effective in caring for others.
If the break was the result of someone else’s negligence or their own pain inflicted on you, you have choices.
– Get bitter and never speak to them again
– Press charges
– Lash back and get revenge
– Slander their name and curse them to everyone you meet
– Set healthy boundaries for the purpose of healing
– Continue showing love and respect, realizing that we’re all human and make
mistakes and wrong choices at many points in our lives
– Get the help you need for whatever is broken. (Hint: Don’t go to an eye doctor to get a tooth pulled).
– Pray for blessings and healing for the perpetrator. Bless and don’t curse.
– Remember that showing mercy and forgiving does not always mean placing yourself in the same situation again and again. It’s not unmerciful to set boundaries. In fact, it is loving and necessary – for the healing of BOTH parties.
– Laura Smith 2-11-14
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”