As adults, we love to ask children what they want to be when they grow up. We know the typical answers, a policeman, fireman, baseball player, pilot, astronaut or even the president. What I have never heard a child say is that they want to grow up to be a Supreme Court Justice. I’ve never heard a child say they wanted to be a judge, or anything like it. I don’t ever believed that I wanted to be a judge when I grew up even though we played Order in the Court.
I believe this is partly due to the fact that the moment we are born, we have already acquired the propensity to judge. We judge when our milk isn’t being brought to us on our schedule, we judge that our diapers are not changed promptly, and we judge when our parents remove the object of our desires from our grasp. We grow up judging, and continue to be judges until we die. From cradle to grave we judge everything that comes into our path.
This is ironic, given that so many of us never like to be judged for anything we do. If we are caught doing something that is deemed unacceptable by God, country or culture, we have a ready excuse as to why it was acceptable for us to do said deed. And if we see someone doing the same unacceptable deed, we are quick to judge the person guilty of the same offense, never heeding their calls for equity.
We were all born with a sense of right and wrong and we put this sense into use every day in every situation that arise. If someone cuts us off on the highway, we judge that they are maniacs. If someone is driving too slow in front of us, we judge them to be idiots. We judge what people wear, how they treat us, how we are received, who we hang out with, who we marry, who we follow, making little judgments all the while in every process.
Those of you who are reading this are also making judgments. You are judging if what I’m saying is true or not. The reason we judge the way we do and is often as we do is because we are made in the image of God. He made us with a sense of right and wrong so that we can judge what is right and wrong.
God has made us with a conscience and even given us a sense of the Law on our hearts. Paul shows that those without the Law, are still responsible to it because God has placed it on our hearts: …(Gentiles) … show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accuse or else excusing them (Romans 2:15).
We are all judges at heart because this is the way the LORD made us. I know that some are saying, “But Timothy, Jesus said, ‘Do not judge.’” Allow me to nip that in the bud. Jesus was not barring all judgment. He knows how we are made. What is He is preaching against is hypocritical judgment. If you look at the passage in context, you will see that He directs His followers to get the log out of our own eye before we try and get the speck out of our neighbor’s eye (Matthew 7:1-5).
Jesus affirms this part of our nature, to be judges. The question is: do we judge with God’s wisdom, or with the world’s wisdom?