Thursday, March 3, 2011

Who Am I to Judge Another?

Several years ago while going through a difficult time, I found much solace in writing music.  I don’t claim to be a great musician or even a good one, but I am somehow able to come up with original tunes for the words I write. (Disclaimer: it is yet to be determined how good they are!)  During this time I wrote several songs based on the different aspects of the atonement of Jesus Christ.  One of the aspects of the atonement is his grace.  The one thing that has stuck out to me in regards to Christ’s grace is that my salvation is not dependent upon where I am compared to anyone but myself.  His grace takes away the need for me to compare myself with or judge another.

His Grace is Sufficient for Me (© 2007)
Verse 1
I found a stairway on the earth
Up to heaven it did reach
The wide steps were so beautiful
They beckoned unto me

I climbed the stairway anxiously
But with every step
I came to realize
To the top I could not get

Verse 2
Looking up at those ahead
I feel discouragement
So much farther up are they
Compared to where I’m at

Can I make it up that far?
Will I ever be that good?
I wonder if I ever will be
Up to where I should

Bridge 1
No matter how I try
No matter what I do
I can never make it alone
Even if I run
Or never stop to rest
I still need help to reach the top step

His Grace lifts me where I need to be
His Grace makes the difference up for me
Because of His Grace, I don’t have to live perfectly
All He requires is my best
Then He makes up for the rest
His Grace is sufficient for me
Verse 3
Then I glance way down below
I see others climbing there
Some just making their first step
Others slowly climb each stair

Then I come to realize
That is where I did begin
And those above me also stood
In the very spot I’m in.

Verse 4
The higher that you climb the stairs
The more you learn and know
Some start early some start late
Some are quick, some slow

I am not required to be
Where another person is
Nor another person judged upon
The knowledge I’ve been giv’n.

Bridge 2
It really doesn’t matter
Upon which step I stand
Alone no one can make it to heav’n
As long as I keep climbing
And am true to what I know
Christ’s Grace will lift me and carry me home!

His Grace lifts me where I need to be
His Grace makes the difference up for me
Because of His Grace, I don’t have to live perfectly
All He requires is my best
Then He makes up for the rest
His Grace is sufficient for me

When we don’t understand his grace, it leads us to not only compare ourselves with and judge others, but we can’t fully appreciate the gift of grace given to us by our Savior through his atoning sacrifice.

Romans 5:10-12, 15 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:… For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.

When Adam partook of the fruit in the Garden, he brought upon himself (and us) mortality or in other words, death and sin.  Christ’s gift to us that that he saves us from both.  While Adam’s fall separates us from God, Christ’s atonement unifies us by making us “at-one” again.

Romans 5:18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.

Romans 5:19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

Christ has overcome both death and sin.  Through his resurrection, all men/women whether good or evil (Acts 24:15) are given the gift of the “justification of life” or resurrection. By his suffering for our sins, all can be made righteous that choose to follow him.  Both of these gifts are a result of his grace regardless if our choice enters the equation.  Even if we all did our very best to live a good life, it would not be good enough.

James 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

Each of us has a complete dependence upon the Savior for our salvation regardless of how large or small our sins.  To compare ourselves to another is almost to say, “I don’t need the Savior as much as you do.”  The understanding or lack of understanding of his grace I think looks like this:

Not understanding his grace
Understanding his grace
Aura of Perfection
Shame &          Guilt
Love of God
I have to be perfect OR I have to pretend to be perfect
I am not perfect, so why try?
I know I am not perfect and I rely on Christ to make up the difference.
I can't make a mistake or I am bad.  I want to hide my mistakes or problems or pretend I don’t have any.
I make mistakes so I am bad.  I will never be perfect. I give up!
I know that perfection is only through Christ and nothing I can achieve on my own.  I see that mistakes are part of growing and necessary in the perfection process. How can I grow without learning?  How can I learn if I don't make mistakes?
In order to feel better and to feel better about my sins, I classify people, make judgments, and compare myself to others.  "At least I am not that bad."
I feel less than others. I can never measure up to others or to expectations I have of myself.
I recognize that I have just as much need for the atonement as anyone. How can I judge? We are all sinners!
I rely on my works to save me and feel I have to do it all!  I believe in Christ but I don't understand his grace.
My works aren't good enough, I can't be saved!  I believe in Christ but I don't understand his grace.
My works will never be enough to save me or anyone else. As long as I continue to repent of my mistakes and keep moving forward, Christ's grace is sufficient for me.
I can get so discouraged when I don't meet my own personal expectations that I can fall into shame & guilt.
I may try to hide my shame and guilt by taking on the Aura of Perfection.
I am ok to be my imperfect self! I am ok with others imperfections as well!
Instead of helping others, I am in the habit of judging, comparing and classifying.
I feel unworthy or unable to be of help to anyone.
The Lord has blessed me with his grace and I want to help others. I mourn with those that mourn and comfort those that need comfort.

When we truly understand his grace, we become like the woman who washed Jesus feet.  

Luke 7:47 Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.

I don’t think we have to be great sinners to love the Lord but to recognize the sinner that we are.  When we come to see our complete dependence on the Lord, our love for him and others will be much and we will cease to feel the need to judge and compare.  Instead of seeing others as sinners because their sins are more visible, we will see them as our equals.  Our hearts will be filled with compassion and we will reach out in love instead of judgment and we will forgive more easily. Instead of hiding our problems, we will be able to open up and seek for help.  To a degree I have hidden many of my problems.  This has made me realize that we cannot help each other if we do not know the problems of others.  In opening up a little, I have found that others struggle just as much or more than I.  Many of us hide our problems not necessarily because we want to appear perfect but because we fear judgment and sometimes rightly (and sadly) so.  I personally have times when I have felt the need to be perfect so others would like me or in order to earn God’s blessings.  Other times I have felt that I was less than others and had absolutely nothing to offer.  The times I strive for and do not always reach are those when I have felt the love of the Lord for me and have seen that I am not meant to be perfect or have a perfect life.  In writing this blog, I am opening up a little more than really is within my comfort zone.  I know that some will judge me but I am hopeful that my experiences will benefit someone, even if just one. 


  1. I always love your perspective on the important things in life.

  2. Wonderful points here. I've always wanted to write music--way to go girl. Your lyrics are beautiful. Your points about comparing are wonderful. Thank you for sharing your insights!

  3. Love it Brenda! Beautiful song, you definitely have talent! It's amazing to know that His Grace is enough, more than enough!

  4. I love the way you added the thoughts about our actions and what grace really means. It's our thoughts that bind us. Great post.