"let them approach, then let them speak;
let us together draw near for judgment."
Doesn't that scripture sound kind of scary at first? What is so negative about the word "judgment"? What pictures come to mind when you think of the "judgment seat of christ"? I know that in my life, those terms have freaked me out at times.
But, let's actually read the definition of the word "judgment". It literally means, to "form a conclusion about something or someone" or "decide a verdict or results of a trial". How, from those definitions, have we formed the conclusion that judgment is so horrible? I mean, just as there are bad results from trials, aren't there good ones too?
We all know that, as humans, we don't exactly have the best judgment abilities, yet we still do it. We form opinions and come to drastic conclusions about people all the time, not even knowing all of the facts. So, really God in His perfect wisdom is the only entity that has the ability to judge correctly! So, why are we so afraid of HIS judgement... shouldn't we welcome it? I mean... it's definitely going to be accurate at least.
I think our reason is pretty obvious. We think we're terrible people. We're so convinced that that's the truth about us. We hide our secrets in the recesses of our hearts. We fail and fail and fail, so we're totally certain of the verdict that God's going to give us. We act as if we know EXACTLY what God would say to us if we were on trial before him. So in essence... we're judging the judge. How on earth do we know what his verdict will be for us?
Oh... you say, but there's the law. Aren't we hopeless when compared to it? None of us can stand up next to it and really meet it's standards. So that's our basis of reasoning.... we say, "I've broken the law that God's given, so I know EXACTLY what his judgement will be of me." But what if we were to find out that God's definition of justice is more about love? What if we found out that he was so desperate for relationship with us, that He did something crazy. He sent his kid to be killed on our behalf, for our redemption.
So, if judgment is basically your opinion of someone and of what they deserve; wouldn't it be safe to say that God thinks pretty highly of us? I mean, if He thought that we deserved the King of all Creation... I will welcome His judgment any day.
Because, I now know that He his judging me through the beauty of relationship, not the drugry of law. And because of that, He's given me this power, called grace, to run after him with such passion that following His commands is a delight.
So my final encouragement is that you stay pure and holy because that's the way God sees you! Not because It's just another thing you HAVE to do. And walk righteous before the Lord because He loves you, not just so you'll escape His hammer of judgment. He's already formed his opinion about you, and it's a good one... we just need to start believing it.
"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end."