Last Sunday, I gave a message at church, and one thing I shared was that so many times people are swept away by the expectations of others, and even themselves. As a result, they get weighed down by those expectations, they tire, and eventually burn out.
But God does not want us to burn out. He wants us to burn brightly.
And so the question we need to ask is, whose expectations are we trying to live up to? Others’ expectations of us? Our own expectations of ourselves? Or God’s expectations of us?
Paul says in chapter 3 verse 23 that we belong to Christ, and thus we see in chapter 4 verse 4 that it is the Lord who judges us. He is the one we are answerable to. Not to others. Not to ourselves. But to him.
So as Paul says, don’t worry so much about how others judge you. Don’t even put so much weight in how you judge yourself.
We might think we’re doing perfectly fine, but in fact our hearts are not right before God.
It’s also possible that we are judging ourselves too harshly, criticizing ourselves where God is not criticizing us at all.
So what do we do? Leave the judgment to him.
Don’t let others judge you and put burdens on you that God is not.
And as you look at yourself, if you think you’re doing well, ask God to search your heart. Ask him if there’s something you’re not seeing that he does. And as I said a couple of days ago, be honest with yourself. When God confronts you with truth in your heart, acknowledge it, and confess your sins before him.
If, on the other hand, you’re being harsh on yourself, ask God, “Am I judging myself rightly? What do you see?”
Chances are, if you’re always condemning yourself, you aren’t judging yourself rightly.
So listen for his voice, do your best to be faithful to what he’s asked you to do, and leave the judgment to him.
You just may be surprised that on judgment day, Jesus will look at you, and say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”