Tuesday, October 6, 2009

mercy triumphs

I'm a born judger.  I can't escape it, I can't deny it, it's part of who I am.  If you've read this blog for any amount of time you've probably gathered as much.  I like things to be black and white (unless I'm playing devil's advocate).   I'm quick to label situations as right or wrong, appropriate or inapproriate, rude or courteous in my mind.  I have these standards that are hard for even myself to live up to.   My Myers-Brigg scores were ENTJ with my E at like 13%, N at 10%, T at 12% and J at 65%.  I'm practically off the charts.  As a stay at home mom I feel like my house should always be clean, and if it's not, I'm failing.  I feel guilty if I do my bible study during Parks' nap because I think I should be cleaning the house and I should have gotten up at 5 am to do my bible study before he wakes up.   Judging others and even myself is exhausting!  It is truly exhausting to have a running commentary in your mind of what YOU think is right/wrong with what someone is saying.  It has become a part of me that I hate and am bothered by and yet, it's so natural to me.  

And the longer I walk with God, the more I realize what a curse it is to be a judger and how contrary to God's word it is.  Sometimes, I try to rationalize my judging with the idea that I'm standing up for what is in God's word.  I get frustrated because there are certain things we know are sins because it tells us so in the Word.  How then, am I supposed not "judge" someone's actions when they are in direct contradiction to Scripture?  I know there is a balance between grace and justice and I tend to always sway more heavily towards the justice side.  A few months ago I got some clarification on this question from Scripture. I had never seen this verse before, or if I had I was too blind to see that it speaks directly to a judger like me.  

James 2:12-13

"So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty.  For judgement is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy.  Mercy triumphs over judgment."

Could it be any more clear?  Mercy triumphs over judgment, every time, all the time.  This answered my question.  Which does God care more about, that I am trying to be his judge for him or that I show others mercy?  He clearly wants me to be merciful!  I try to remind myself every day, "When in doubt, mercy triumphs over judgment!".  Let's not gloss over the fact that the first part says, judgment is without mercy to one who doesn't show mercy.  That is a seriously scary thought. 

The Lord has revealed the ugliness of my judgmental heart over the past year and it is something that I am working on letting him change.  It's not easy, it's not quick but I know that it is for my good.  I want to be a tree that bears much fruit and let's face it, when you are too busy judging others, you can't bear much fruit. So fellow judgers, take heart.  I believe there is freedom from our judgmental tendencies through Christ.  If you are not judgmental by nature, be thankful and pray for us! :) 


esther lee said...

I struggled with this too. Still do sometimes but not nearly as much as I used to. I was really convicted as I was reading the chapter in the Shack on judgment. So succinct and SO powerful. Now I realize, I have NO RIGHT to judge. Now I'm taking a class on Romans and we've gotten deep into the talks about judgment. It's important to make sure we realize the difference from merely observing something versus being judgmental. The teacher described it as being a "fruit inspector." Just because we see someone's lifestyle, actions, habits etc and recognize them as destructive does not mean we get to judge them. Instead, it should serve to give us a heart of mercy and understanding in order that we may meet them where they are at. I believe this is one of the biggest turn offs in the Church today : our belief that we are entitled to judge. Heavy stuff. Keep searching. Would love to continue to hear what God shows you.

mallory said...

I like your point about being a "fruit inspector" and not the judge. Very important distinction.

Anonymous said...

I agree. I think its easy to sit high and mighty when you look at other people and critique them. And therefore, easy to lose sight of where God is convicting you and where God wants to grow you, and to miss that the righteousness by which we are saved it not of our own, but of Christ's.

Thanks for the post. Very good think about.


Jaime said...

I am an ENFJ. I think this means that I feel it more than think it. I'm not sure what is worse! :) Very wise to err on the side of mercy, siesta. I'm so pleased to hear your heart! God is for you!!