"Only God Can Judge Me."
I hate this term. There is so much negativity loaded in these few words, at least in my opinion. Now, this post might step on a few toes, but I am okay with that. If you disagree, then please comment kindly with your opinion…after all…. this blog is just my opinion on all of these subjects I talk about, and I am sure there are a lot of people who would probably disagree with much of what I say on here.
So here are the two BIG connotations that I feel are associated with this phrase which represents two people groups. The first is the person who is not a believer and is so stooped in sin that they feel the necessity to comment “only God can judge me” because they know they are not living “good” though they may not recognize “sin” as defined by theology. They might know that they are not living a moral lifestyle as defined by culture, family, or even values instilled in them, and feel the necessity to justify their moral degradation. The other group is the professing believer who is so stooped in sin that they feel it necessary to tell fellow believers “only God can judge me” because they know they are not acting according to their redeemed nature and have no desire to change. Their morality is entirely based on scripture (as little or much as they know about it) and they know that they are not living up to it, but in an attempt to justify their sinfulness, they tell other believers that we are not to judge them. Both groups are trying to cover up the fact that deep down they know they are not living up to the moral standards that they have been taught to live by (from church or culture, etc).
Now for the believer, this idea that only God can judge them is false. Scripture is filled with passages that tell believers we are SUPPOSED to judge each other. We are supposed to call each other out when we see sin creeping into a brother or sister’s life, and we are supposed to judge them based on their fruit. Paul did this with Peter and many churches in the New Testament, Jesus did this with the Pharisees who were not “Christians,” but they were the professing religious leaders supposed to lead the people in righteousness…and well…we all know that few of them were righteous. The fact that a believer feels the necessity to say that only God can judge them indicates that they are living in rebellion and refusing to allow others to help them live a life that God will bless.
The misconception (I believe people have about righteous living) is that God punishes the Christian who isn’t living right. Now, I am no Bible scholar, but I’m pretty sure this is unbiblical. It is not that God punishes us, but rather will not bless us further. The one that lives unrighteously will simply live like the rest of the world…not enlightened to the truth, and not blessed physically beyond the natural. A righteous man is blessed with little stress, anger, contempt, enemies, fears, etc. This translates into a healthier life. Much of the human being is metaphysical. By that, I mean, the spirit world effects the physical, and mental, and vice versa. It is medically evidenced that high levels of stress cause physical ailments. There are many studies that link emotion to physical health and the such. So, as a believer who is living righteously, we can know that we will be blessed in different metaphysical ways, I guess you could say. I’m not saying that if you are a “good Christian,” you won’t get cancer, or sick, or a mental disorder, or even be facing spiritual battles, however, we will be “better off” than those that are not righteous when these types of trials come our way. Now I’m sure I can write four more pages on this matter alone, but I’m going to leave it at this, barely scratching the surface of what I could talk about, and move on to the unbeliever’s comment that only God can judge them.
So, in essence, this is true scripturally. I say this because nowhere in the bible does it say for believers to force non-believers to live like we want them to. This is what the church has done for ever…trying to force someone who doesn’t think the same way to think the same way! I know that was confusing, but go back and read that line one more time and see if it makes more sense to you. The church uses the epistles to “convict” and confront unbelievers about their sin. The problem with this is that NONE of the epistles (New Testament letters) were written to non-believers. They are ALL addressed to a specific group of Christians. We tell people who don’t even claim to want to be Christians that they need to stop doing what they are doing because the Bible tells them to. This is false. The Bible never tells unbelievers to stop sinning. It tells believers to stop sinning.
Another reason I think that we Christians are not to “judge” non-believers is because Jesus never judged them. Three specific instances I think of are Zacchaeus, the woman at the well, and the woman caught in adultery. Zacchaeus was hated because he was a thief. Now we don’t have the whole conversation at his house, but I’ll bet Jesus never said “You need to stop, or you will go to hell,” but rather simply loved him – evidenced in scripture by having a meal with Zacchaeus. NO ONE LIKED THE MAN, YET JESUS HUNG OUT WITH HIM, not once (at least in scripture) mentioning that he was a lying thief. The woman at the well…well…had “been around” and divorced 5 times (I think it was) and was sleeping with a new guy who she wasn’t married to. This was despicable at that time. One just didn’t sleep around and divorce on a whim as we do today. They had higher standards (at least Jews and Samaritans, don’t know about gentiles). Jesus never said, “You’re a whore and a terrible person.” He did say that he knew all about her, yet he befriended her, not mentioning anything about her until SHE brought it up. Now this brings up another point about non-believers asking about your opinion on their sin, but we won’t go there – I need to move on. Lastly, there is the adulterous woman. The Pharisees (or us) brought her in condemnation to Jesus, yet Jesus responded with love and acceptance, not hate as the Pharisees (we so often do).
We can take Jesus’ actions and apply them to today. Jesus never confronted sin, but loved through the sin and as a result men and women were changed…. think about it…. were you saved because someone said you are a horrible person and going to hell or did they say God loves you even though you have sinned and He loved you enough to die for you? Most of us would say we converted because of love, not condemnation. That is the whole message of the Bible for the non-believer and the believer. We can only get to heaven through Jesus’ love and accepting that love…basically.
So, as I am wrapping this up, let me explain why I talked about all of that. The “only God can judge me” has an extremely bad connotation from the non-Christian because it implies (as we all know) that we can be so terribly judgmental and hateful, demanding they change…NOT OUT OF LOVE, BUT OUT OF HATE. Maybe my next post will expound on what I mean by this, but I must move on. For the believer saying this phrase, I think the connotation is less severe, however still significant. It signifies a COMPLETELY REBELLIOUS heart. A heart of someone who really doesn’t care that much and who is not repentant.
Now I know that this might seem judgmental myself, but I hope you don’t get that idea. We all have sins that we continuously must battle, and some are more visible than others. We could all grow in Christ, always.
I know this was long, but I hope it was a good read for you, nonetheless.