Who Made You My Judge? Unscrambling Judgment Part 7

photo credit: bloomsberries via photopin cc
photo credit: bloomsberries via photopin cc

Do not judge lest you be judged. (Matthew 7:1 NASB)

A couple days ago Jael, one of our blogging fam, responded to my mention of Church Discipline. She expressed the fact that people fear and have no confidence in the system. Her comments hit home with me in a big way. So I wanted to ponder it a bit with you all.

I understand this fear. I have personally found myself behind closed doors with no less than 3 different church boards or representatives thereof not to mention a pastor or two. In my life, most of these brushes with “the man” have worked to my good, though honestly speaking, at the time, there would usually be a bit of a tailspin directly following such events.

But I would eventually pull up – encourage my self in the Lord – and deal with it. In most cases I didn’t receive (or accept) the critique right away, and I got really defensive at first. In a couple cases I had to reach out years later, once God had brought me at my own speed, a snail pace, to see that I had been out of line, and ask for forgiveness where I had been hurtful.

The fact is, until I got these things right, the Lord was just going to keep leading me back to places and people who would poke me. He was trying to fix something in my life. I would never grow past that place until I dealt with that particular plank in my eye.

I have pretty broad shoulders (perhaps a little droopy – I should have heeded my mother’s exhortation to sit up straight I suppose) or perhaps it is just that I put on a hard shell of armor, but these encounters didn’t crush me. I was blessed to be in situations where men and women of God were actually meddling in my life because they cared about my growth and my relationship with God and with my brothers and sisters.

David makes two statements in the Psalms that are floating around in my head as I ponder this.

For there is no one who regards me; There is no escape for me; No one cares for my soul. ~ Psalm 142:4 NASB

Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head. ~ Psalm 141:5 NASB

These two verses together get to the heart of this for me.

I had (and have) people in my life that cared for my soul. What a blessing! And when a man or woman takes the time and courage required to correct me (I can be a little intimidating I am told, but I am really just a teddy bear) I see that it is a great kindness to me, when the easier path would be to let it go and just let me spin-off into error or deception.

[OK that was more testimony time that I was planning – sorry I am rambling a bit]

Enough for today. I still want to touch on the ‘how to’ side of this, so will you come back for one more day?

Thanks for sticking it out with me through this touchy subject.

Ben

See you tomorrow.

Ben

0 thoughts on “Who Made You My Judge? Unscrambling Judgment Part 7

  1. cshowers

    Amen, Ben. I too, have been on the receiving end of rebuke, and though it was painful at the time, and sometimes it made me terribly angry (I too, have been accused of being intimidating), I always prayed about it after. And sometimes, those who rebuked me were wrong, and the Lord revealed this to me, and led me to pray for them. Other times, (many times) those who rebuked me were right, and after prayer, I would receive what they had spoken to me, and the Lord used it for my good.

    I am grateful for those who listened to the Lord, and spoke the truth to me in love, because they were the ones who truly cared about me. It was terribly difficult for them to rebuke me, because they loved me, and they didn't want to lose my friendship, but in the end, it drew me closer to them... Having said all of this, after reading your post, I was immediately reminded of this passage from Hebrews:

    5 And have you entirely forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you, his children? He said, "My child, don't ignore it when the Lord disciplines you, and don't be discouraged when he corrects you. 6 For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes those he accepts as his children." 7 As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Whoever heard of a child who was never disciplined? 8 If God doesn't discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children after all. (Hebrews 12:5-8 NLT)

    Much love to you my brother and keep up the good work,
    Cheryl

    Reply
    1. Ben Nelson

      The real battle for me has been (and i confess i have not been successful always) maintaining relationship when the accusation or correction was "wrong" or at least not something i perceived as right. I see that God wants us to maintain our relationships even when we have been offended - I mean look at Him - He crucified Jesus (the Truth) to restore relationship with us (his enemies.)

      Reply
  2. GodGirl

    It's a tricky one. Criticisms should always be made carefully and prayerfully, with lots of love, gentleness and grace. We have all sinned...

    Reply
  3. Larry Who

    I've had more than my share of corrections. Some I needed and some I did not. But like you said in your comments, I had to work overtime at loving those who were incorrect and offended me. Through all of it, I learned a priceless answer: never defend yourself. Allow them to have their say and pray God will eventually sort it out. It saves time and hard feelings on everyone's part.

    Reply
    1. Ben Nelson

      That is priceless advice! (so i won't charge you for giving it - lol) That is the problem with having opinions (as you and I clearly do) the ones that are right sound wrong and the ones that are wrong we hang onto like pit bulls - Ah well.

      thanks much for weighing in.

      Ben

      Reply
  4. Debbie

    I love learning here , Mr. Ben! 🙂 And find it interesting that the verses from Psalms that you mentioned are both ones I'll be posting from. I've been blessed to have been corrected gently, for the most part. Mr. Larry's advice is priceless and through no real knowledge of my own, He has helped me with those who I felt hurt by, to maintain that relationship, as much as I could. God bless you!

    Reply
    1. Ben Nelson

      That is so good Deb. This is actually pretty hard stuff to live out, and it is so good to hear so many good testimonies! Thanks for the encouragement yet again!

      Reply
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  6. jaels

    Good stuff here, Ben. I have generally just "skipped town" when someone seemed to be judging, not helping--maintaining the relationship is certainly a challenge; and I liked Bubba Larry's advice a lot. It's easy to be defensive if the person has no clue what they're talking about--or their own life is a mess, but they've been given some authority to speak, so they do... Ultimately, it's hard to get the trust back, once someone has broken it and devastated my spirit--so I just pray for continued healing.

    Reply
    1. Ben Nelson

      Well said - When i have my grown up mature christian hat on (rare but it happens) i like to consider what has been said - and glean what is in there for me - to help me grow - but mostly i go away pouting and find a shoulder to cry on.

      Reply
    1. Ben Nelson

      Yeah - i thought it would be all easy going when i tackled the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus does not tip toe around this stuff, and we must face it head on too. Thanks much for your encouragement!

      Reply

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