Have you ever seen one of those giant chairs at the fair or a furniture store? They’re enormous. If you could get yourself up in the seat of the chair, you could probably fit eight or ten people with you. It’s huge and you’re small, out of place, and overwhelmed by its size.
Every time I drive by one of those or see a picture of one, I can’t help but think that’s what it looks like when we climb up into the judgment seat of God. It’s not our seat. It’s not our chair. It’s huge because it belongs to a big, big God.
Whether we like to admit it or not, we’ve all tried to sit in that chair. We see someone standing on the side of the road with a sign that says “Will work for food” or we see a young woman dressed in a revealing way and begin to form opinions without knowing the first things about his or her story. Luke 6:37 says, “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” Matthew 7:2 tells us the same standard we use to judge others will be used with us. Ouch! How many of us want a re-do with someone in our past?
John 13:34 tells us to love one another. That exact phrase is repeated nine more times in Scripture. When God tells us something more than once, He’s driving home His point and expects us to pay attention. It really doesn’t matter what someone does, we’re to love and forgive them just as Jesus does with us. There’s nothing we can do to separate us from the love and forgiveness of God and we should never withhold our love and forgiveness from another [Romans 8:35-39].
1 Peter 4:8 says, “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” I’ve seen this Scripture become a reality as I’ve encountered survivors of human sex trafficking. They’ve been so broken, brainwashed, and hurt; they feel they’ve got no options other than to remain in the lifestyle. They don’t want to do it, but they’re covered in shame and guilt. If their pimp and the johns haven’t hurt them enough, the enemy comes and dumps buckets and buckets of shame over them and then uneducated people come along beside him and help with judging looks, harsh words, or lack of compassion. Aren’t we thankful Jesus didn’t treat us that way?
Multiple times a day we’re faced with the choice to judge or love. If our goal is to live like Jesus, then there is only one option…LOVE. 1 John 4:19 says, “We love because He first loved us.” Why not look for opportunities to shower people with His love today? You’ll get splattered with His love in the process.