“He (Paul) cares very little if he is judged by the Corinthians or by any human court. And then he goes one step further: He will not even judge himself. It’s as if he says, ‘I don’t care what you think— but but I don’t care what I think. I have a very low opinion of your opinion of me—but I have a very low opinion of my opinion of me.'”
-Timothy Keller, The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness
As someone who wrestles with social anxiety, I have a strong fear of judgement. As a result, I find myself doing everything I can to avoid the judgement of people. I often adjust myself to meet the expectations of others. I carefully select the parts of myself that I think will be acceptable to them. And in the process I lose sight of simply being the authentic person God has created me to be.
God has also been showing me the danger of judging myself. I can be my own worst critic. It is so natural for me to dwell on the things that I don’t like about myself. My inner critic reminds me of all the places where I fall short. And in the process I lose sight of the person that God is shaping me to be. I focus on the flaws in who I currently am, not on the whole and healed person that I am becoming.
As a result, I loved the above quote by Timothy Keller. What a hopeful thought! God desires for me to be free not only from the opinion of man, but also from my opinion of myself.
People aren’t my judge.
I am not my judge.
God alone is my judge.
And He loves me unconditionally.
Since Jesus received all judgement on the cross, I am free from the judgement of man. And I am free from my own self-judgement.
I wanted to close this post with a song by Andrew Peterson. He is such a kindred spirit and I love his honest and authentic song-writing. This song has ministered to me numerous times when I’ve felt tempted to judge and condemn myself. I hope it speaks to you.