Don’t judge! Don’t be so negative! If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all!
We’ve all heard those statements. I’ve cautioned myself and my kids with those words. There’s truth in them.
Truth, however, is only true when applied correctly. So, if someone is only looking on possible problems that don’t exist and are not very likely, they might be responding negatively, or judging for no good reason.
Other times, people will turn up their nose because of pride, thinking they are better than someone else.
Sometimes, negativity is good. In fact, in certain cases, it’s desperately needed.
I heard about a woman that was extracted from her home by a team of rescue workers after a friend called to inform them that she was no longer able to get out of her chair.
Oh, and that had been the case for months!
This woman put the morbid in morbidly obese. It was incredibly sad. She sat in the same place, relieving her bodily functions where she sat, relying on her friend to bring her food. I’m guessing the food probably didn’t include fresh vegetables, either.
At this point, I think we’d all agree that some intervention was long overdue. I mean, how many visits to a friend who is urinating and defecating in her chair would it take to say, “Suzie, I’m going to get you some help!”?
This friend had to make a judgment, for sure. He was judging the fact that ‘Suzie’ was incapable of taking care of herself on a basic, human level. In fact, they found her bones had suffered from lack of calcium and the overbearing weight of her flesh to the point that, even if she wanted to, she could not get up or walk.
Someone needed to tell her that she was in a very dire condition. She needed to be confronted with the reality that she was trapped by her gluttony and sloth, literally sitting in a cesspool of filth.
Her friend needed to judge the situation rightly and bring the negative news of truth.
The same is true if we go to the doctor. How would we react if we found that our doctor didn’t want to be negative, so he/she didn’t tell us that we had cancer? What if, instead, the doctor just encouraged us to try to eat a few pieces of broccoli or add a healthy smoothy to our diet?
Then, a few months later we end up in the hospital with untreatable cancer. It’s too late. there’s nothing medicine can do.
I think that doctor would have a law suit on his/her hands!
People might think true Christians are negative because we proclaim that no one is good. No one can stand before the measure of God’s Righteousness and not be found wanting. We all deserve eternal punishment for our rebellion and spite against our loving Creator God.
That negativity, that judgment, comes with a treatment. Jesus died to pay the debt we could not pay. He bore the wrath that we deserved. He was buried. Then, after completing that work, He picked up His life and was resurrected, giving us hope of eternal life through the same power of resurrection.
Why does this work? Well, death couldn’t keep Jesus because He died without sin. The “wages” of sin is death. Remember from Genesis where God told Adam that in the day that he ate of the fruit of the forbidden tree, he would die. Sure enough, Adam died. As did all of his descendants (except, perhaps Enoch, but that’s another blog to discuss that).
When Jesus died, He had remained spotless. He didn’t owe those wages, so death couldn’t hold Him. He resurrected.
He is referred to as the “first-born of the dead.” Meaning He is the first of a “new race,” just like Adam was the first of the human race.
Because Jesus defeated death, all who call on His name, or nature, who call out to Him as Lord and Savior, will be given righteousness.
Abraham believed God, believed His nature, and righteousness was credited to him.
This is how it works. We don’t have the righteousness. We can’t work up to enough righteousness. We can’t get out of our chair because we’re stuck with decaying bones and sitting in our own filth! Or, to use the Biblical example, we’re dead! Dead men and women don’t get up.
But, by faith, calling out to Jesus after recognizing the horrible truth of our condition, God clothes us with something we could never earn or deserve: His Righteousness.
Because we’re then clothed with His Righteousness, death will not be able to hold us any more than it held Jesus. We will be resurrected to eternal life.
That is the hope. But true hope doesn’t come from warm fuzzies that ignore the truth, or mask it with silly fantasies about dancing in the sky as a spirit or experiencing some ecstatic revelation.
I’ll leave off with this. Daniel in the lion’s den. Did he see the angel standing guard next to him? Was it bright, like in the pictures we’ve all seen? Or was it dark? Was he alone in a smelly cave, no light to see, and growling beasts all around?
I think it was the latter. Daniel states that the Lord sent an angel to shut the lions’ mouths. But he never said he saw the angel. It’s possible he did see the angel. But the Bible doesn’t say that.
Similarly, his three friends never said they saw the fourth person walking in the flames. It was the king who saw the fourth person.
We are never promised to see signs and wonders. We are called to walk by faith, obeying when it seems that to do so would be the worst possible thing for our future. That’s real faith. And it will make us seem negative, or judgmental. It won’t win popularity contests in the world. But we’re not here to please the world.
We’re called to glorify the Lord.