“Authentic Responsibility #1: I alone am responsible for judging (evaluating, assessing) me – my motives (intent, needs, feelings, spirituality, abilities, intelligence, priorities, values) and to determine any adjectives that describe me. Therefore, I may refuse any judgment of me.”*
One of the biggest news stories this week came after the Seattle-San Francisco playoff game this past weekend. Cornerback Richard Sherman of the Seahawks had just made an incredible play; he then proceeded to give an interview with a reporter that blew up social media. In my own social media timelines, I saw words like “ghetto;” “disrespectful;” “unprofessional;” and some other unrepeatable phrases. Sherman is a known trash-talker, an incredible athlete and student of the game, and a beast at his position. He also graduated second in his high school class in Compton, graduated from Stanford University, and has started a charity to educate kids from his hometown. However, after one interview, people have judged him as nothing but a classless thug.
We humans are a judgmental group of people. Even Christians sometimes fall into the judgment trap because we believe that by pointing out others’ flaws, we are holding them accountable (not being judgmental). However, there is a fine line between conviction and condemnation. The devil condemns and often uses others—even Christians—to condemn us and attack our identity, personality, and worth (like some did with Sherman). The Holy Spirit deals in conviction—of wrong behavior, thought processes, and sin. As Christians, we need to make sure we are dealing in accountability that convicts, not judgmental attitudes that condemn (Luke 6:37). Mostly, we need to be our own judge—nonjudgmental while firmly establishing ourselves in the correct judgments of ourselves and others.
So what are three ways you can embrace the authentic responsibility of being your own judge?
- Stop judging others yourself. We contribute to the issue when we continue handing out judgments to others. I am constantly working on this! A few months ago, I would have jumped right into bashing Richard Sherman as an unprofessional ghetto thug. But after that interview, I was convicted to find out more about him. A friend and I shared positive stories about him via social media the entire next day. While many were vilifying him, I sought to understand him. I can now call myself his fan because I learned you can’t judge a man by one interview. Start with one person and stop the cycle of judgment (Matthew 7:1–5).
- Start refusing others’ judgments of yourself. This includes positive judgments! If we refuse only the negative judgments others have of us and revel in the positive ones, we will be too eager to believe our own hype—especially if it comes from the mouths of others. We must be cautious about pride and about allowing others’ negative views of us to become our own. Interestingly enough, this commercial for Beats by Dre came out the day after Sherman’s interview (warning: explicit language, please pardon):
So be your own judge (Romans 2:1). But don’t just hear what you want to hear…
- Keep believing God’s judgment about you from His Word. This is the only fail-safe plan to knowing your identity and understanding who you really are, what your motives are, and what adjectives describe you. God has written these things down in His Word for us to read and re-read and then read again. Take some time to search the Scriptures to find out just how much the Lord loves you. It’s the one judgment worth reading!
The first step in authentic responsibility is taking responsibility for evaluating yourself—and believing the true Word about who you are.
How do you take authentic responsibility for judging yourself? Share in the comments or contact me today for a free 30-minute Identity Intensive!