by: carole l. haines
16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.” John 3 NASB
Have you ever been under the critical eye of other people? You can just tell that they are watching every little thing you do, assessing whether you are living up to their standards, and forming opinions about you based on their own human assessments. I have been on both ends of this whipping post, it’s a very uncomfortable and unnerving place to be. Have you ever seen a Whipping Post? They were generally located in the center of town and people were tied to them, then whipped. Similarly used were the stocks. Look at the picture above and imagine yourself tied to that post, with others whipping your naked back. What a terrible and humiliating situation. But being under the judgmental eye of others can feel just like that. Do we need to subject ourselves to such judgment? Do we need to receive it, as believers? I don’t think so, not based on God’s Word. God doesn’t intend for us to have to live under the opinions or assessments of other people. It is good to be discerning, but not judgmental. There is a huge difference. In the above passage, Jesus tells us that those of us who believe in Him are not judged. When I looked up the original Greek meaning of that word, it was broad, yet here is one of the meanings:
- to pronounce judgment, to subject to censure
- of those who act the part of judges or arbiters in matters of common life, or pass judgment on the deeds and words of others.
God’s Word says this: 4 Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand. (Romans 14:4)
So many Scriptures teach us that we stand before God alone, not each other. So many wrong things have been carried out in the name of “Fear of Man,” in the name of people pleasing. God desires for us to be free from the fear of man. So what exactly is it? It is placing the opinions of others above God’s view on any matter of life. God’s Word speaks volumes on it. Many warnings are given about the snare of yielding to human opinion, judgment, or assessment. This has been one of the hardest tasks of my Christian Walk; learning to walk freely in Christ, overcoming the judgments of others, in order to accomplish what God has sent me forth to do.
Dear Believers, we will only ever stand before God alone, in eternity, to give an account for our lives. So, in the here and now, let’s choose to stand alone before Him. Let’s know His Word, His view of us and others. Don’t let others intimidate you with their judgments. Don’t tie yourself to that whipping post. Also, examine yourselves to be sure you are free from judging anyone else. That is like casting stones, and Jesus handling of that issue was to ask that whoever of us is without sin, only those could cast the first stone. None of us is without sin, so drop those stones, and unhitch yourself, and others, from that judgmental whipping post.
Christ alone, Christ alone;
we are never forsaken, never alone.
Live your lives for Christ alone.