This Week’s Key Verses: 2 Chronicles 34 (NIV) “Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem thirty-one years. He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and followed the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or to the left….”
“It was a wrong judgment, as most judgments are,” Joseph Martin said, as he retold a story during our last session at his conference today. His statement was so good that I couldn’t get it out of my head, and I had to write it down and give it to you.
I’ve been very blessed this week to attend the “Music in the Mountains” conference, led by world-renowned composer Joseph Martin. We’d been singing choral scores all day long, every day this week, worshiping and learning together as we sang the songs God has given composers for the church and school. Meeting and talking with the composers gives an entire new perspective to each piece, and what a blessing it was! In our last session, Joseph Martin told us a story about a day he was waiting at the airport amidst very angry travelers whose Christmas flights had been delayed yet again. In walked a guy with tattoos, very long hair, and a music case. As the guy pulled out his guitar, Joseph tallied his judgment, and prepared himself for some very mediocre music. He was totally surprised when the guy started playing Classical music with agility and skill, and then segued into other well-known songs. The music quieted the angry voices, and its power totally rebooted and uplifted the atmosphere in that hangar area. His first impression of this guy had been “a wrong judgment, as most judgments are.”
This story still hangs in my mind. We can use the time God gives us in several ways: invest it into the kingdom by living out God’s truth; spend it just for fun (vacations, movies), or waste it. I work hard to use my time wisely and to work efficiently to accomplish the tasks God has given me to meet deadlines that accompany them, so that I have time to spend on my Sabbath of rest, relaxation, and fun with my family. But one thing troubles me: I still waste time. My three biggest time-wasters are worry, complaining, and judgment.
Mathematically, if you come to a wrong conclusion because you began your equation with a false statement, you would be quite unwise to try using that equation again. So if our judgments of others are wrong only half of the time, we are still serving a pretty poor statistic. The worse part is that God promises us that He will allow us to be judged in the same manner that we judge. That means every judgment we make of another person is like a new weight that we now carry in our lives. Instead of using our energy for positive actions, we have now wasted precious energy by choosing to add a new weight to our backpacks that is also going to boomerang and will eventually hit us again on the journey. Now, that’s a pretty big waste.
Can you imagine just one day on this earth with no judgments? Don’t get me wrong, if you are the appointed judge (a teacher grading papers, an evaluator, a judge in the court of law), you need to judge with justice. But unless judgment is our God-given job, we need to leave judgment to Him. Imagine a day when no Christian judged someone else’s weight, hair (or lack thereof!), face, body, race, personality type, house, car, job, family, skill level, motives . . . and instead, used every second to love and pray for others . . . what power God could release into our world? Jesus, God’s appointed Judge, carried every judgment in His body and the cross, and it has been crucified forever! He didn’t leave anything for us to carry.
Christians, this is one of the reasons that we often lack power in our lives, and it is an area that we have sole power over. Dear God, forgive us. We sing about taking back what the enemy has stolen, but we have stolen judgment from You, causing us to live under Your judgment! We release our foolish judgments, and ask to You to replace them with a fresh rain of Your love and presence in its fullness and power over our lives. Oh, Lord, help free us of our self-inflicted burdens so we can dance in Your rain! Amen, and amen!
“God is the only Lawmaker and Judge. He is the only One who can save and destroy. So it is not right for you to judge your neighbor.” (James 4:12, NCV)
To hear this week’s message go to www.kpc.org/watch_listen.