Today I was reminded of that moment when I had confronted a person about their actions, and her response was to judge my heart and motives. I remember being sad that the person would assume the things she said about me. Even if it was just defensiveness, they came out, which means that somewhere in her mind she thought those things could be true about who I was as a person.
It has been a couple of years since that experience and today it came back, unfortunately as a conviction. I realized I was starting to judge some people’s motives, instead of just actions. I remember how I felt, and how the difference between the two was so obvious at that moment because I was on the unfair judgement side, but here I was heading down that same path. I realized how lazy I was getting in many areas. Instead of choosing to give someone the benefit of the doubt, or contacting them and practicing being quick to listen and slow to speak, I was jumping right to the angry or frustration because of what the person was doing, but also why I thought they were doing it.
When the Bible talks about not judging, this is the spot it is talking about. There are rights and wrongs and sometimes in-betweens that we can judge, but motives are really between a person and God. Sometimes there are many layers of motives that we do not know about ourselves. For about a week after that person had judged my motives, I had to ask God to let me know if there had been any truth in those accusations because I did not want that to be who I was, and if it was, then I needed to repent and change. In that situation the motives that were placed on me were not true, that person was reacting on preconceived notions of me, and her own hurt.
Even in that, it was hard not to attribute motives to why she would say those things, but they weren’t mine to hold onto, that was between her and God. It was mine to forgive and release. And here I stand looking in the mirror re-living that moment, only I am now the person ascribing motives to people’s actions. Most of the actions are not really even mine to confront. I can disagree, sometimes I can confront, but in the light of things brought to my mind and heart today, I am to release it. They are not mine. As Brant Hansen so plainly says it in his powerful book Unoffendable,
Choosing to be unoffendable, or relinquishing my right to anger, does not mean accepting injustice. It means actively seeking justice, and loving mercy, while walking humbly with God. And that means remembering I’m not Him. What a relief.