Keep This In Mind When You Say “Only God Can Judge Me”
You’ve heard it said before: You can’t judge me…Only God can judge me!
Usually this line is spouted off when someone feels they are being unfairly criticized by another. It is used as a defense mechanism, a clever comeback that sounds quite spiritual but in reality is simply being wielded as a weapon against others who have come too far into our personal space. When we feel like our life choices are being put under the microscope by someone else, we feel threatened, and want to find a way out from under the scrutiny. Pointing out that “only God can judge me” works because it feels like a God-supported truth that no one can really refute, and it conveniently (1) alleviates us of any guilt we might have felt and (2) puts the smug critic in their place.
Here’s the problem. Even if that were a true statement (and biblically it’s not exactly true), the reality is this: you should be a whole lot more scared that God will judge you than if someone else does!
Therein lies the irony. The “only God can judge me” line is used to make us feel safe from judgment, yet it actually confirms that we are anything but safe from judgment. True, human beings are imperfect and therefore we know their judgment of us will be skewed, so we can take some reassurance in knowing that God’s judgment of us will be flawless. Yet, at the same time, if that is true, shouldn’t we be worried that God knows every dirty little secret we have and will judge us in accordance with everything we have done, said, and even thought?
The Bible speaks of God’s judgment not as a convenient way to push back critics, but as a warning siren to sinners like you and I:
- Hebrews 9:27 And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment
- Romans 14:12 So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.
- 2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.
- Matthew 12:36 I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak
- Romans 2:5-6 But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. He will render to each one according to his works
The point is this: God is indeed the one who will judge you, and that should terrify you. It should be anything but a statement used to make us feel better about ourselves. Rather, it should make us keenly aware of our sinfulness before God and how unworthy we are to be accepted by him. It should make us shudder at the thought of sinful beings like us standing before a sinless God on a day of judgment, where God will render to each person according to what they have done.
Perhaps you think you are a good person and that judgment will go well for you. I would advise no one to take that stance. Far better it is to recognize your sin and seek out the forgiveness that God offers us through Jesus Christ. God is willing to grant total forgiveness to all who admit their need for God’s mercy and believe in the deliverance that comes only through Christ. This means that if you trust in Jesus as your Saviour (the one who saves you from judgment), then God will not count any of your sins against you. But don’t take my word for it. The Bible says so:
To [Jesus] all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name. (Acts 10:43)
And because of Jesus dying on the cross for your sins and mine, God is willing to grant us mercy, if only we would have the faith to receive it. James 2:13 reminds us that “mercy triumphs over judgment”…but only if we ask!
So, if you want to really escape the feeling of being judged, then believe in Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins. You can know, on the authority of God’s Word, that God will not count any sin against you that Jesus has already forgiven you for. Now that is the freedom you are looking for!