Judgment & Accountability: Which Is Which?

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Judgment & Accountability: Which Is Which?

July 3, 2014 Blogs 0

Nobody wants to be judged, but we don’t want to be held accountable either.

We LOVE to throw around the word “judgment” or “judge”. It’s universally used in all cultures, languages, churches, workplaces, and parting words of a heated argument.

It’s comforting. It’s our fail-safe, our ‘zinger’ when we’re not sure how to respond or when we need to ‘win’ the argument.

It’s nice to have in our back pocket because it’s too ‘hot-topic’ and many times, too ambiguous in definition for many to respond to. If we were playing freeze tag, it’d be considered ‘base’. It’s what we reach for when we don’t want to venture out alone.

One definition of “judgment” is: “the process of forming an opinion or evaluation by discerning and comparing.” Another says: “a divine sentence or decision; specifically: a calamity held to be sent by God.”

Basically, making an opinion by evaluating a situation and its variables. You make an educated opinion of a situation or person, but you don’t determine their spiritual outcome because you aren’t God, and none of us have the power to do so.

Fair enough. “Only God can judge”. Sound familiar? It’s a popular ‘zinger’. It’s not untrue either. By definition, only God has the divine power to determine our fate in going to heaven or hell.

If we take this the spiritual route, in Matthew 12, Jesus says one day we will all be judged and give account.

But what if we don’t believe in God? Then the concept of God is null in this situation and judgment may not apply. So what would we need in order to avoid chaos in a God-less society?

Accountability. Defined: “an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions”.

We don’t want to be judged, but we don’t want to be held accountable either.

It’s confrontational, sometimes painful, and restricting. We just want to do whatever we feel like doing and not have anyone bother us. It’s our life and we choose our own fate.

Enter: conflict.

We vote our leaders into governing positions to make the big decisions and decide what is best for “We the people”. We put them there to be our mediator, to make the decisions for us. Then, when they dare to make a ruling on something we disagree with, suddenly we want them out. NOW. These men in the Supreme Court are no longer capable of making sound rulings. They have now become a bunch of “chauvinists.” The judges have become judged.

The lines between right and wrong become blurred when we don’t want a mediator or we want the mediator to be ourselves, or only those of our choosing.

We would like our definition of marriage to change by gender, commitment, number of spouses. We’d like to not have to work but still be paid, we’d rather value sports over poverty, we’d like to not have religion or its core values be a part of our culture, but the message of money, sex, fame, and the degradation of women which rap and rock cultures display, are at times, acceptable.

What happens when we don’t get what we want or we need some way to justify our actions or even our guilt? It’s someone else’s fault, or lets find fault in those who’d call us out.

It’s the government’s fault or religion’s fault or the media’s fault. We need something to help us get what we want, so we’ll rally everyone else who wants the same thing, and we’ll bring out the pitchforks till we get it.

But what happens when someone disagrees? It seems we are a bunch of squeaky wheels who are screaming at the top of our lungs like little children who want everything and if you question us, you’re against us. Who are they to judge? There’s that word again. Judge.

So isn’t judging left up to God in the eternal sense? Right. But who enforces right and wrong in the gray areas if God isn’t visibly doing it himself? Or who enforces what’s right and wrong if we don’t believe in God?

That would be us, each other. How has that worked out so far?

We don’t want mediation; we want over-saturation of all our desires, over-indulging in both the good and the harmful. We think we can handle our own lives without any checks and balances, but we are sadly mistaken and arrogant. We are our own demise.

We don’t want God to judge us –or his people to enforce his judgment, which his people don’t have a great track record of anyway (which didn’t help).

We don’t want confrontation and when we get it, we combat our guilt of knowing what is right compared to what we want, with screams of injustice, despair, and judgment, while instead; maybe the intent was merely accountability. We need accountability to keep us honest, to strengthen our character; it helps define the lines we’ve begun to cross.

As a Christian, I believe there’s a reason God is the Great Mediator. I believe he gave us rules to protect ourselves from destroying ourselves, not to prevent us from having fun or living our lives to its fullest. No, he created us, therefore wouldn’t he know what is best for his design more so than we would? Wouldn’t his “rules” be better seen as guidelines to a healthy life full of his intended blessings?

If you don’t believe in God, this is not a condemnation or judgment and you’re certainly entitled to your opinion. It’s more of a pleading to ask where might we find the great mediation we need as a human race? The history of man has a terrible track record of destroying itself when good and evil, right and wrong are blurred into a melting pot of personal opinion.

So where do we turn? If not to God, then to whom? Or to what? There must be accountability among us, and a healthy pushback against us when we are going down a destructive path.

We don’t want to be judged, but we don’t want to be held accountable either. Until we figure out where our mediation will come from, if we don’t want it from God or from each other, we will only be decaying, never fostering hope.

These are just my thoughts, my personal opinion. You may or may not agree. You be the judge…there’s that word again.