“For we will all stand before God's judgment seat…. So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God. Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another.”
Ten years ago I stood before a judge at Beaverton Municipal court. On May 26th, 2006, I failed to notice the reduced school speed limit and was photographed driving 32 MPH in a 20 MPH zone. The judge asked me to “give an account”. This was my account: “I thought I was going the speed limit of around 35 MPH. I was right about my speed but wrong about the limit. I was driving 32 MPH in a 20 MPH zone… just like the ticket says. I’m sorry and will try not to let it happen again.” The infraction cost me time and money. I was lucky, though. The judge was gracious and reduced my ticketed fine of $242.00 to $192.00.
Someday, I will “stand before God’s judgment seat”. There I will be required to “give an account” of myself to Heaven’s Judge. This is a sobering thought. I was not overly worried about my first speeding ticket in many years. But what will I say on the day I face my Creator? I deserve the eternal death penalty for the sins I have committed. I am indescribably grateful for the sacrifice of Jesus Christ which covers the price of my offenses. His blood pays the debt for my sin. But I cannot avoid a personal appearance at the “judgment seat”. I will stand before God and “give an account” of me. What will I say? How will it go? The text offers a small clue that may help things go a little better for me on the Last Day…
“Let us stop passing judgment on one another.”
I cannot live a sin-free existence. There will be an accounting to make. But I can work on being less judgmental of others. I can learn to more quickly walk away from another person’s crime scene when Jesus quietly reminds me, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone…" (John 8.7). Extending mercy to others now will make things go better for me then.
“For judgment will be merciless for one who has
shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment.”
James 2.13 NASU