'Only God can judge me!'
The 'funny' thing is, most often the people that use this line are doing something wrong, and they know it! It may be true that only God can pass sentence on them, in the sense of finality, but we can judge them & in fact, are called to! We are called, not only to judge for ourselves whether something is right or wrong ( as Christians 'we have the Mind of Christ' ), but we are called to 'judge those who are inside' ( I Corinthians 5:12 )! In context, this means, not those whose ( necessarily ) that belong to the IC ( Institutional Church ), but all those who claim to follow Christ, who would be called Christian, whether they call themselves religious or just 'spiritual'!
Being one that has always had a 'problem', caring what other people think, I have been used to 'walking on eggshells' for most of my life! To a point, we should care what others think, especially if we're not doing what is right, but if we are following in Jesus' footsteps & according to our cleansed conscience, then we should just do, no matter what others may think!
When it comes to living our own separate lives, no two people are going to live exactly the same way or enjoy the exact same things; some like it hot & some like it cold, some like Spiced ( or Vanilla ) Chai, while the other may prefer a Nonfat Mocha Lattė with a shot of Caramel! Some may enjoy lame jokes & hilarity while others may prefer primarily serious & intellectual conversation! Although some might judge others according to these seemingly inconsequential matters, these are not really matters for our judgment, except for personal preference!
Our judgment of others, whatever form it may take & to whatever extent it may fall, should be based upon the Truth that has been revealed to us through the Word of God that is written on the Tablet of our Heart! We are called to render that judgment so that all might understand what is right & what is wrong! Many of those who receive that judgment are not going to be very appreciative, and so we ourselves may suffer from a form of judgment, even though it is unjust! Depending on how carefully we render judgment, we may or may not deserve to receive that return 'judgment'!
Often, as Christians, we are reminded by others within the Body of Christ, that according to the apostle Paul ( I Corinthians 5:12 ), we should not judge those 'outside', for as Paul wrote, 'those who are outside God will judge'. Does this mean that, even as Christians we should not pass judgment on those we see committing sin, even if they do not claim to follow Christ? Should we not judge for ourselves whether what they're doing is right or wrong, so that we can make a wise decision based on a righteous judgment? In some sense, we may pass sentence on them as well, by the very fact that we may choose to follow along with them or not!
So, what does this have to do with lame jokes & spiced chai! Really, I just thought it sounded like a good idea at the time ; plus, I don't care what you think!!!!
Charles Haddon Shank