We love in a culture of evaluation. From birth our height, weight, and developmental steps are monitored. In school we face standardized tests. One the job we have frequent evaluations. Constant self-improvement, from good to great to excellent, is our goal.

            As a recovering legalist, I find this cultural obsession with evaluation can even affect how I practice spiritual disciplines. Am I improving in prayer and meditation? Are my disciplines advanced? Am I closer to God? Or at least am I ahead of other Christians who do not have the discipline I have?

            A portion of the Bible that has spoken to me lately is Paul’s statement in 1 Corinthians 4:3, “I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself.”

            My temptation is to always be judging myself. Am I good enough? Have I done enough? Is my faith strong enough?

            Being unaware of my failings would be spiritually unhealthy, but always wondering about spiritual health results in religious hypochondria. Paul reminds me that I can be certain of my spiritual health not because of what I do but because I have encountered the Great Physician, Jesus, who healed me once for all.

            So I do not allow the judgment of others or even my own self-judgment to guide my life. Instead I trust in Jesus who did not come to judge but to save (John 3:17). This trust sets me free to love myself and others with the love God has for me.

            This is the secret of the easy yoke that Jesus promised.

One Response

  1. Might I introduce you to 1 John 4?

    We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.   By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world.  There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

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