For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world (1 Corinthians 11:31, 32 NKJV).
Who likes to be judged? I know that I sure don’t! But judgment happens to everyone, one way or another. The good news is, we have options regarding who will judge us, and how we will be judged. In fact, we have the option of judging ourselves! And if we judge ourselves, we don’t come under the judgment of others. The bad news is, judging ourselves is not easy. To judge ourselves means to look at ourselves objectively and detect our own shortcomings and sinful condition. That is very painful indeed, and everything in our human nature rebels against it.
The next option is to be judged and disciplined by the Lord. Due to our sinful natures, in many, many cases, this is the level we come to out of necessity. At this level, God, after judging us, brings us into a time of chastening. Chastening has a few meanings. Consider the following: it means to be instructed, or caused to learn. It means to be corrected, and to have our character molded by others through reproof and admonition. Finally, it is many times accomplished through the affliction of evils and calamities. None of that sounds pleasant, does it? But it is certainly preferable to the following option.
If we fail to judge ourselves, and if we do not yield to the chastening of the Lord, the final option is to be condemned with the world. To be condemned with the world means to receive judgment that is worthy of punishment, together with the ungodly multitude, which includes all of humanity that are estranged from God and hostile to the cause of Christ. That is such a sobering thought.
Consider your options. Which type of judgment would you rather receive?
Oh Lord, teach us to judge ourselves. Help us to allow the light of Your Word to shine on our hearts, exposing the dirty secrets hidden inside. We pray that You will enable us to see ourselves as You see us. Please make us quick to repent, and make things right with You. And Father, regardless of how painful Your chastening may be, we pray that You will create within us soft, pliable hearts that yield to Your chastening. We thank You that as we submit to Your chastening You rescue us from being condemned with the world. Amen.
© 2006 by Rebecca Livermore, a Christian speaker and writer from Denver, Colorado. Her passion is helping people grow spiritually. To read more of her articles on Christian living, and to check out her always growing selection of Christian resource materials, visit http://www.rebeccalivermore.com