The Judge Who Matters

By: Jill Briscoe

Once, the Apostle Paul was having a difficult time with some of his critics.  Like Job, the people after him were leaders – in Paul’s case, leaders of the Corinthian church.  Yet he boldly defended his ministry and motives, reminding those who were criticizing him that he was only a servant of Christ, yet a servant trusted with “the secret things of God.”  Paul told the Corinthians that his Master required him, as a good steward, to be faithful to His trust.  

Notice that the Master does not require us to be successful as the world defines success.  He does not require us to be popular either – just faithful.  If, as best as I know my heart, I have no known sin that is as yet unconfessed, and if I am doing my level best to serve Christ and people, then I can claim Paul’s words and philosophy.  I can do what both Job’s friend Elihu and Paul recommended.  I can say, “I care very little if I am judged by you” (1 Cor. 4:3).

It is hard, though, isn’t it, when we are under the gun to care “very little” if we are judged?  I usually care very much!  But very much might well be too much.  After all, it isn’t other people (even important ones), or any human, worldly assessment that matters in the end – it is God who judges us.  Paul points out, “He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts.  At that time (Judgment Day) each will receive his praise from God: (1 Cor. 4:5). 

Elihu reminded Job that God is a just judge, and He alone knows what a person is like on the inside.  If we are first and foremost God pleasers, rather than people-pleasers, we will be able to cast ourselves on God’s merciful judgment and say, “Though all people forsake me, yet, Lord, I will continue to love and serve you.”

Jill Briscoe is the Founder and Executive Editor of Just Between Us magazine.