1 Corinthians 4:4-5 Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.
It’s easy for me to feel inadequate. Too fat, too skinny, too ugly. I often just take it out on ourselves. I had a day like that today. For whatever reason I was grumpy and weepy. For the first time in a while it rained and I felt like it rained on my heart, too. I read things on Facebook and then wondered why was so and so getting kudos when so and so should have been getting them? Why was some family member seemingly shutting out certain members of the family? When I glanced in the mirror I saw how fat I was, when I looked closer, I noticed how old I look. Everything seemed on heightened alert. I couldn’t do anything right. I burned my crumpets, I spilled the liquid laundry soap, and I printed the print at home movie tickets on the wrong side of glossy photo paper, making the ink impossible to set. I found a letter I was supposed to have sent to Children of the Nations who we sponsor two kids through and I yelled at my husband. I reckon if I had a dog I would have made her day miserable too. I was disappointed in myself and my jumble of feeling and I was sure my father in Heaven was disappointed in me, too. Finally, I stopped myself and headed to the Word.
1 Corinthians held a comfort for me and a lesson I’d really like to share because I know I am not alone in my judgemental attitude towards myself…ourselves. I think it’s easy to know judging others is wrong and we shouldn’t and we would never, ever. But somehow, coming down on ourselves has been fair game. Let’s see what Paul says. “Judge nothing before the appointed time (wait until the Lord comes because he will bring light to what is hidden and will expose the motives of the heart.) AT THAT TIME EACH WILL RECEIVE THEIR PRAISE. I had to read it a couple of times to grasp the wholeness of this. The deep comfort of this promise is almost too much for my human heart.
First of all, don’t judge because I don’t know everything and I won’t know it all until he returns and reveals the hidden things and exposes the motives of my heart. There’s comfort in knowing that there’s goodness in there somewhere (and He knows it.) But the best part, for me: each will receive their praise from God. It doesn’t say the prettiest, or the youngest, the richest, the smartest, the angriest, the one with the most trophies, the one who memorized most scripture, the one who has a handle on their anger all the time, the one with no kids, the one with the most kids, the one mom loves the most, the one dad likes the most, the most selfless, the poorest, the American, the Aussie, the Canadian, the old saint, the young believer, the most athletic, the best author, it says only that EACH will receive their praise. And, even better? We won’t get it from an angel or archangel or a long gone saint, we will get our praise, each of us, from God himself. What a relief. What an encouragement. What a hope.
If I’ve not been the only one to mess up today, or yesterday or last year, maybe you too will find joy and hope in knowing that you’re not too late! His praise is coming for you. Seek His forgiveness and start over! (1 John 1:9 He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness). Now, come along and we’ll move on and wait for the day we will receive our praise from our heavenly Father. What a great promise and hope that is for me. You too?
By Linda Mae Baldwin | Freelance writer