A week ago, a little man that I love with all my heart drove me to the Tulsa airport. It was early in the morning (We left at 3:30 a.m.) and quite dark. Somewhere along the way, it began to drizzle, making the road even harder to see. He didn’t do too badly until after Bartlesville, Oklahoma. But the last 30 minutes of the trip concerned me. This man (obviously, my husband) has had eleven eye surgeries and struggles with nighttime vision, and the road between Bartlesville and Tulsa, Oklahoma, is not clearly marked. It would help my husband immensely if the road department would freshly paint the lines. I’ll admit, I felt some relief when I received the phone call that he had safely made it back home. I want him to judge where the road ends. I want him to judge where the shoulder is. I want him to be able to judge distances and lane closures. I really want him to judge!
I want my children to judge too. I want clarity in their spiritual journey. I want it to be clear to them “what is good and what the Lord requires of them.” (Micah 6:8) So, I feel really concerned when I hear the phrase, “You can’t judge!” Of course, we can judge. Of course, we do judge. Everyone does! Even atheists.
One of the definitions of judging is “to form an opinion.” The synonyms are a conclusion, evaluate, believe, assess, decide, determine, and deduce. As we go down the highway of life, we have to determine where the lines are. There must be principles and standards of what is right and what is wrong imprinted in our minds and hearts. There is a problem when we are so scared of offending to the point of not being able to stand on the Lord’s side on issues and questions in life.
I think what people mean when they say, “Don’t judge!” is not to be cynical and criticize others. There are times that it is hard in today’s anti-God and anti-holiness culture to keep away from cynicism, but with love we still must “evaluate,” “determine,” and “decide” what is right and wrong. We must have righteous judgments (John 7:24).
This last week, I have had opportunity to see hours of judging. We have been working on the audio drama of The Reverend Spy. This project involved close to 30 voice actors and a full working week. Some of the lines required take after take…sometimes up to eleven times of hearing the same phrase! I was supposed to be one of the directors. This really did not work for me! I have had a hearing loss since I have been a young girl, and my ears are not cut out for this precision work!
Thank the Lord for several perfectionists whose hearing and ability is totally out of my league! I sat in the same room as Erik Samborski would explain to Bobby Pickett and Merilee Barnard how to fix problems and what was wrong with what they were hearing. And I would be so confused because seriously, I could not hear what these people were hearing. To me, it was close enough, but Bobby and Merilee were horrified at the thought of not editing these “problems.” They would say, “Listen! This is muddy right here.” I never could hear any mud. It always was fine to me.
It really doesn’t matter if anyone sitting around you thinks everything sounds fine. If God shows you that your sound is muddy, then it’s muddy! I told God that I understood the need to have a clear sound. I desperately want the “mud” gone! There are so many things that can come bring fog and take away the clear sound. How many times has there been foolish talking and jesting, and God’s approval and clearness leave?
I feel like that I have areas in my life that God has shown me are too busy and covering up the important melody…Him! There are areas that have hurt my clear sound.
It seems as I have expressed strong opinions without charity about things (sometimes about such silly things), my notes were getting muddier. My focus got duller and duller.
God has shown me that I have too much clutter in my brain. The saying that has best expressed my condition is: “My mind is like an internet browser. 17 tabs are open, 4 of them are frozen, and I don’t know where the music is coming from.”
For five days, I have watched these artists delete, cut, redo, and carefully craft with judgment, assessment, and wisdom. Even times that they didn’t understand the theory, they cut things that did not fit or took away from the message. They have been so judgmental! And I’m so glad!
I want a clear sound. I want righteous judgments.