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Monday, November 7, 2011

Judging Someone Else's Servant

Romans 14:4          

view details            Who are we to judge someone else’s servant? That’s what Paul asks us in his letter to the Romans. And yet, we do this all the time.


            Does it somehow elevate us as Christians to note that we have not engaged in that sin we find so detestable? Even though the countless little ones are drenching us like rain—as in judging someone else?

            What’s worse is when we judge others on those things which are not even sin. We just assume they will lead to it, or maybe come from it.

            This reminded me of what happened when I began to write my current work-in-progress (WIP). I was told my character was hard to relate to because she’d made the poor decision of taking a position as a Resident Director in an all-male university dormitory. This position would require her to live, as the only woman, among five-hundred college guys. My first reaction to this was, of course, self-deprecating self-evaluation. After all, I’d taken that job several years ago. Was it really that sinful? Am I really that much of an idiot? Sorry, but I get prone to these thoughts at certain times of the month.

Religious symbol with Jesus and a lamb            But then I thought, even if this was a horrible, sinful act, which I no longer claim, I would wish those who are strong in faith would still find some way to love, and yes, even relate, to  me. Imagine Jesus among the prostitutes and tax collectors. Would He have mused on what made them different from Him?
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            Then, I thought of Joan of Arc. In fact, she is now mentioned in this manuscript as her calling parallels my main character in one way—having lived among men. She was called by God to do something which, at that time, was not only distasteful to many, it was part of the testimony against her that led to her being burned at the stake. And yet, she did it in order to be true to her Creator.

            Am I comparing my own circumstances to that of Joan of Arc? Eek! I can’t even claim the righteousness of Kirsten, the main character of my WIP. In fact, that was the lowest, weakest moment of my faith journey. And yet, God shown His light in my life even when I wasn’t looking for it. (That’s a whole different story). I don’t know if I was actually “called” to work in the all-male dorm, I just know that God used that experience to grow me in ways I needed. And perhaps He wanted me to tell the story of what it was like for a Christian, living in a very PC environment, where temptation saturates the individual, and there are few opportunities to find faith support.


            So I ask, as did Paul, “Who are we to judge someone else’s servant?” We do not know what the Master has asked of him. We could look at the woman who poured perfume on Jesus and blame her, as did Judas, for wasting the value of the item. And yet, Jesus praised her for treating Him with distinct honor. Or, we could esteem Jonah for resisting to socialize with such detestable sinners as the Ninevites. And yet, this was in direct opposition to what God commanded him to do.

            So who is the better servant? We can answer this question only because God’s Word tells us unmistakably. But in your own life, I caution you, don’t presume to be the all-knowing ear of God’s judgment.

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