What Judgment Would You Like on Your Tombstone? Judgment Can Be a Risky Business

Tombstone Judgment

Judgment Tombstone

In our sensationalist, foul, social media-driven culture, you can do 999 out of a 1,000 things well, but you will be judged,  identified, and labelled by the one stupid thing you might say or do! This happens in church-world all the time! Who among us would like our tombstone epitaph to be based on the judgment of the stupidest thing we ever said or did in our lives? Not me. Besides, there would be too much competition for top billing on my tombstone.

Let’s be long suffering one with another, withhold our sweeping judgments (condemnations, not discernment or evaluation/judgment), and view our interactions with one another from the totality of a life’s work, not the lowest moment, or most-ill advised thing any of us have ever said or done. My behavior at the moment may not be at all representative of who I really am. Everyone is entitled to a bad moment, bad day, and a stupid flapping of the lips or typing of the keys!

Judgment Can be a Risky Business

Our judgment must be withheld until we really know someone, rather than forming an opinion or judgment from 140 characters in a Twitter post, or an out of context quote on Facebook from the stupidest thing I may have ever said or done. There is no short-cut to real relationship. Accurate judgments can only be made from within intimate relationships. There is no substitute for a community in love with one another.

I recently heard of a very well known minister who opened his teaching session with the following: “One third of what I am about to teach is wrong. The problem is, I don’t know which third.” This encapsulates for me the attitude we need to have toward ourselves and one another.

Let’s not rush to sweeping condemning judgement of persons. I am not sure I believe a lot of things I taught five, ten, fifteen years ago. I would not want to listen to my own stuff from ten years ago. I would not want to meet the me I was 20 years ago! Truly, the grace of God is eternal, alive, and functioning. How He can get anything redemptive out of any of us, is a constant amazement to me.

Hopefully we all grow in character and understanding. Someone’s teachings, doctrines, and life-fruit should most certainly be evaluated/judged. But we can forgo condemnation of personhood from a small slice of the pie of life. What I may see at the moment, may not reflect what I might see in the future. I would like to give others the same benefit of the doubt that I would like myself. That should sound familiar to any of us: Treat others how you would like to be treated. That does not mean we never say hard, direct, or confrontational things. Jesus clearly did.

Let’s operate with one another in judgment as if we are actually citizens of a different kingdom and King, like we claim to be.

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#www.badchurchexperience.com

Copyright 2014,  Dr. Stephen R. Crosby, www.stevecrosby.org. Permission is granted to copy, forward, or distribute this article for non-commercial use only, as long as this copyright byline, in totality, is maintained in all duplications, copies, and link references.  For reprint permission for any commercial use, in any form of media, please contact stephrcrosby@gmail.com. #www.badchurchexperience.com

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4 comments on “What Judgment Would You Like on Your Tombstone? Judgment Can Be a Risky Business

  1. Excellent thoughts as always, Stephen. I remember coming home from a church conference once full of ideas about what I could do when I got back. I kept thinking about the members of my church and who I could use where. The problem was that I kept looking at what disqualified them (in my self-righteous opinions). I felt the Lord speak and say, look at what qualifies them, not what disqualifies them. I was so easy to judge them for a few wrong things that I didn’t see all the right things about them. Not to mention, I wasn’t looking at all the things that would have disqualified me. Keep these words coming…..the American church needs them!

  2. Steve,
    Thank you for another wonderful post. The love of Christ is always seeking redemption and true discernment embraces the full atonement and redemption of the finished work of Christ.

    You know as well as I the statements see people with the eyes of Jesus yet this alone falls short of redemption. These same people often embrace a false love and grace theology/message. Jesus didn’t coddle us in our wounds and transgressions He redeemed us and redemption seeks and embraces the full atonement of the cross.

    I hear many people state “iron sharpens iron” but they forget that even iron needs to be tempered slowly and the honing oil is the heart and spirit of the Lord Jesus. We must be humble, loving without the need to be right vs. speaking truth in love, mercy, compassion and grace.

    Thanks again for a wonderful post.
    Blessings,
    Glen

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