This morning, I was considering the subject of unrighteous judgment. This is that painful out-of-left-field kind of judgment that gets laid on us unrighteously. Sadly, it can come from those who know us and should know better. As I considered this painful subject, an image appeared in my thinking. It looked like the trailer for an apocalyptic, end-of-time, movie. I was looking through the eyes of someone who had made the choice to live free from the judgments and labels others had tried to place upon their life. Those issuing the unrighteous judgments looked tired, unbathed, and only partially clothed. They looked as if they had been living in a spiritual concentration camp.
Around the necks of these captives to judgment were large metal prisoner collars attached to a chain. They could only live and move within the restrictive sphere of their judgment. The person who was the target of their judgment walked freely among them. They wore no collar or chain and appeared fresh and clean. This astonished the prisoners who were seeing for the first time the living and breathing consequence of their judgment. The free one found no joy seeing the condition of the prisoners. The free one felt deep sorrow at the sad consequence of unrighteous judgment.
When the image disappeared, I sensed a word of instruction. For those of you who have been judged in an unrighteous manner, the Lord may not remove you from the lives of the judging ones. He has a reason to have you live among them a little longer.
In the image I saw, a haunting look began to appear on the faces of those who issued the unrighteous judgments. The look revealed a cry for help that could not yet be verbalized. This cry reached an emotional high point as the free person walked among them in stark contrast to their sad condition. At the moment of exposure, mercy and compassion filled the free person’s heart. At first, when the Lord asked them to remain, it was confusing, but now it made sense. They were asked to remain to witness a miracle of restoration. They would be part of that process because they had been trained in the time of sorrow how to respond to the guilty ones with love and mercy. That training brought them to a place where the desire to extend mercy released a joy greater than the pain of unrighteous judgment.
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on Garris Elkins