Recently I sprained my knee doing a tricky mountain-climbing maneuver … actually, I tripped on a curb heading into a store to pick up a pizza.
(I had just put on my COVID mask, which fogged up my glasses, which caused me to misjudge the curb’s location).
Within seconds of falling, I was surrounded by five strangers, all asking if I was okay. Two helped me up. One young woman encouraged me to sit on a bench to recover for a few minutes.
Who knows what assumptions these strangers may have come to when they saw me fall …
“Why doesn’t he look where he’s going?” or, “I bet he’s been drinking” (I had not).
But regardless of their pre-judgements, it did not stop them from taking action and showing kindness to me.
Now, this story sets the context for my response to the lion meme quote …
When Tupac said “Only God can judge me” — he probably meant that only God can accurately judge me. And I agree with that.
Only God and I know the true motives behind my words and actions—and sometimes I don’t even know why I do certain things.
The phrase, “Only God can judge me” (seen often as a tattoo) is sometimes used as a response to the unfair judgment of others. Of course, jumping to conclusions (without evidence) is human nature.
“Do not let your peace depend on people’s opinions of you. Their thinking well or badly of you does not somehow make you different from who you actually are.”
Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ
What matters, however, is not allowing our pre-judgements to prevent us from respectfully engaging or showing compassion to others (like the strangers who came to my aid).
Now, some people may say “Only God can judge me” because somehow God is a safer bet. I don’t agree with that.
“Aslan is a lion — the Lion, the great Lion.”
“Ooh” said Susan. “I’d thought he was a man. Is he, quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion”…
“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver …”Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”― C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, from The Chronicles of Narnia
What is true of God’s discipline is this …
When we own up to what He can plainly see is true (especially in regard to our darker motives), God always, always, responds with compassion.
Photo: 139496832 © | Dreamstime.com