Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom. James 2, verse 12.
This one completely convicts me. It really does and it hurts. You see, I’m judgmental. Get on my Facebook page and you’ll find me railing against things I don’t believe in, things I think are genuinely bad for the country and our world in general. Many believe the same thing, but I really speak out against it, and that isn’t necessarily a good thing. I don’t just use social media as a way to keep in touch or share trivial stuff: it’s a platform to advance what I believe, especially my faith and my belief in American tenets.
Yet I don’t always bring good credit on that faith or patriotism. It’s tedious to argue with people about matters of principle and politics, and I don’t see how anything I’ve said or done has positively swayed anyone’s opinion. I think you could reasonably argue, though, that there are things I’ve said and done online that have negatively swayed people, and I’m ashamed of that. I won’t curse you out or call you names or belittle you as a human. But I can eviscerate your position and make it seem like you are lower than low for simply standing up for what you believe in, too.
I’m ashamed of that. To quote a friend, it makes me ‘judgy.’ It’s not just unattractive: it’s wrong.
It makes me a hypocrite. It’s true, there are people who will twist and turn your words and use them against you, using your faith or your beliefs as a way to hammer you while they hide behind a sheer veneer of their own hypocrisy. That doesn’t matter. It’s not the point because, when the admission of judgmental hypocrisy is made, I’m only responsible for me. I’m the hypocrite.
The freedom this verse is talking about isn’t one guaranteed by an earthly Constitution. The source of all freedom is Jesus. It was in faith in Him that our ancestors sought refuge in a new world. It was in faith in Him that those ancestors enshrined their beliefs about human liberty in the most influential government documents ever written. Yet His freedom is freedom of the spirit, freedom from the slavery of sin. It was something He bled and died for so that all men would know they are equal in Him. All of us are sinful, and all of us have our judgmental and hypocritical faults. Only through Christ are those faults neutralized and His glorious freedom advanced. Social media may debate this, but nothing can ever deny or destroy it.
A judgy old coot like me would do well to remember it.
Freedom Jesus, thank you for setting me free. Help me to stay free through clinging to you and laying aside all that isn’t You.
What keeps you enslaved?
What do you think about your freedom?
How does Jesus set you free?