Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise… Ephesians 5:15 (NIV)
Working with kids, ages five to eleven allows you many opportunities to exercise judgment in many situations. Being a school counselor, I tend to be the ‘good guy’ when dealing with a student under a very problematic issue. That’s why principals are paid the ‘big bucks’ to deal with difficult parents and be the ‘bad guy’ when disciplining students. However, when a principal is gone, normally the school counselor has to step into their role and handle some of the most difficult issues because for some reason everything is chaotic when the leader is absent.
Sitting in the Judges Seat
On a particular day, my principal was gone and now my title had changed to “Judge Amy”, (minus the gavel and robe, of course). I heard our fire alarm go off during one of our lunch and recess rotations. I was outside of my office in the hallway talking to another student at that time. In my counseling room, there were two young ladies eating lunch waiting for me to finish talking to the student so I could join them. As the fire alarm continued to go off, I immediately went down the hallway, into the main office to make sure it wasn’t an actual fire.
On the alarm panel, it stated that the alarm was set off in the Counseling Office. I was definitely intrigued at that moment. All I could remember were the wise words of my favorite TV detective, ‘Homicide Hunter’, who says frequently on his broadcast, “My, My, My…..What do we have here?”
As I entered my room, I noticed the two young ladies looked frightened. As I asked them what happened while I was gone, the two of them looked at each other with bewilderment and shrugged their shoulders as if they had no clue. Ten minutes later, “Judge Amy” finally got to the ‘real’ story. It was only after threatening to call parents did I finally get the complete truth, even though I knew who did it, based on their body language alone and their rap sheet from prior offenses.
The Benefit of Judgment
Judgment in many cases is a good thing, even though we sometimes associate it with a negative thought. It allows us to grow as believers when rightly judged by our Savior. It gives us teachable moments, that hopefully we take and apply to our life.
In Matthew 7:1 (NIV), it says that if we judge others, we will also be judged. Many times, human judgment is unjust, requiring a measure or standard that no one can achieve. But when God judges His children, it is always in truth and righteousness. God gives us His righteous judgment to help us recognize sin, correct us, and give us a realization of the effects of our sin on ourselves and others.
As we look further down this passage, we see that scripture tells us to not be hypocrites. When we look at another brother or sister’s issues and not address the issues in our own lives, we aren’t seeing just how much we need our Savior. Our pride is increasing when humility and love should be at the forefront.
In John 16:7-10 (NIV), it references the Comforter, the Holy Spirit. It states that the Spirit convicts God’s children of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment. The power to live victoriously in Christ is not found in us, but in the Holy Spirit through us.
Ephesians 5:8-10 (NIV), says, “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness, and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord.” God wants His children to be imitators of Him. To live a life of obedience and love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself on the Cross for us. What a sacrifice, what a love! We will never do anything to make God not love us or leave us. We are His children if we have believed and put our faith in Him.
Just like the two young ladies in my room, who I love dearly, made a mistake that needed a consequence, God will also discipline us in the same manner when we are disobedient. The importance of being obedient as children of God reminds me that when we are disciplined, the outcome is always to conform us into His likeness.
May we always pursue righteousness and be mindful of His judgments.
As always, I’m learning right there with ya,
Thankful For His Grace,
Amy is a singer/songwriter and worship leader based out of Oklahoma. She has been writing songs and leading worship for over fifteen years. Amy has been married to her husband Jared of ten years. She has a dog named George, loves to run marathons and spend time with her nieces and nephews.
Lori Mathesen says
Love this article!! Well written
I’d mention a couple more things… 1) God disciplines all of his children:
“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”
And 2) mercy triumphs over judgement.