Avoiding Judgment


Avoiding a judgment


Written by ANDRÉE SEU

March 24, 9:15 AM

“But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged” (1 Corinthians 11:31).

This verse is not about the Big Judgment. We who are in Christ have escaped that. But there are those little judgments in the interim. Jesus warned that the Gardener is not averse to lopping off a few useless branches if he has to in order to save the tree (John 15). The pruning can be painful. Some people who get sick or die untimely deaths are actually undergoing “judgment,” we learn (1 Corinthians 11:30). Severe pruning has been done to me and maybe to you too. This is the original “tough love,” and one does not regret it in the long run. No one in his right mind wants to go back to the darkness.

There have been disputes throughout the ages as to what is indicated by Paul when he says “whoever eats or drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself” (v.29). Some branches of the Church have thought it means that we have to believe that Jesus is mysteriously present in some physical form in the wafer, while others have not. If one regards the entire context of Paul’s letter (which is a “compliment sandwich” containing a good helping of chastisement between layers of praise), one might lean toward the NKJV interpretation: “The context describes an unworthy manner as a divisive attitude that desecrates the meaning of the Lord’s Supper.” Scary.

All arguments aside, I am glad for the Lord’s promise that if we judge ourselves we will not be judged. I would just as soon search my own heart and ferret out my sin as have it overtake me in judgment. The Lord tells us to cleanse ourselves from every defilement (2 Corinthians 7:1); it’s either we do it or He will. The Lord is always rooting for us to do it the easy way; the hard way is not his first choice:

“Take a scroll and write on it all the words that I have spoken to you, from the days of Josiah until today. It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the disaster that I intend to do to them, so that every one may turn from his evil way, and that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin” (Jeremiah 36:2-3).