One reason people stay on an emotional edge so frequently is because of constant concern what other people may be thinking about them or what other people may be actually saying about them. Many are so sensitive about being judged by others to the point of personal distraction and discouragement.
One of the Psalmists wrote what appears to be a very vindictive response to those who were overtly opposed to him. We read where he requested that God fight against them with His spear, and that “the angel of the Lord persecute them.” Let their way be “dark and slippery,” he said.
However, a correct study of the psalm indicates that the mindset of the Psalmist was not so much what he felt about those who maligned him, but rather the trust he placed in God. The Psalmist made it clear that “his soul would be joyful in the Lord,” that he would “rejoice in the salvation of the Lord,” and that he would give the public thanks and praise for the Lord’s settling of his soul over against “the hypocritical mockers.”
Yet, the Psalmist makes an incredible teaching point for us to consider when other people sit back and judge us unfairly, or talk about us critically, or put us down publicly. He makes the following request of the Lord—-“Judge me, O Lord my God, according to your righteousness.”
Why did he ask the Lord to judge him while others were doing the same? It is found in the fact, that while so many were openly saying what they thought about him, he was much more concerned about what God thought about him!
What about you? Whose judgment is it that counts the most to you? Why should you be so concerned about the judgments of others, and put your emotions under the domination of their condemnations? You are better off when give more credibility to the Lord’s judging.
This is true, because the judging of our lives by God is more constructive. For example, if you are out of fellowship with God, He will make it clear why you are out of fellowship with Him. He will guide you in the truth of the reason why. When other people judge you, they leave you to flounder in their verbal bilge without offering any assistance toward reconciliation.
Not so with God. He is rich in mercy. He is full of forgiveness. His heart is full of love for us. He gives us beneficent instructions in the Bible. He gives directions by way of the presence of the Holy Spirit. God willingly helps us when our character flaws are exposed.
Furthermore, God always judges fairly. He is the only One who can do so.
People are prone to judge others unfairly and unjustly for several apparent reasons. For one, people judge unfairly because some enjoy creating turmoil. People judge unfairly because they like to gossip and lie. People judge unfairly because of personal bias.
On the other hand, God judges fairly because of His righteousness, according to the Psalmist. If we will be more concerned about what God thinks of us, He will tell us on the basis of truth that He knows completely our circumstances and details. In other words, He is the best informed about us.
God judges fairly because He is long-suffering and patient with us. He factors in the fact that we are mistake-prone. He factors in our imperfections. He factors mercifully that we so often need His help in our lives. He factors in His willingness to defend us when we are helpless before others who are quick to hurt our integrity and reputation.
If people are critically saying what they think about you, you are better off to sluff it off. Recently, someone said that I looked older than dirt. I took it as a compliment. After all, the Lord probably thinks the same thing. And, that is not bad, according to another Scripture.
Pastor Ron Branch lives in Mason County and is pastor of Hope Baptist Church, Middleport, Ohio.