I used to make a living by standing in a courtroom and making a case. The standard was the law and the method was often contrast of behavior vs. the standard. Knowledge of the standard in the law was necessary to work from the fixed point on which the court would agree. Contrast, or the lack of contrast, between the act(s) alleged and the fixed point of the law was necessary to show either adherence to the law or justification based in another’s variance from the law.
A witness generally couldn’t guess or opine with their opinions (speculation) or repeat things that weren’t verifiable (hearsay), among other rules for what could be testimony. With any attempt to vary from the rules, there would be an objection to keep that testimony out of evidence. Evidence is what establishes the contrast.
I find myself still thinking like that quite a bit. I don’t think the word “objection,” but often form the thought regarding what is objectionable. I make a case against another person in my mind. This is particularly true when the other person has a responsibility to behave in a certain way.
Here is a problem with that; I’m probably doing that very same thing to myself. I’m comparing my behaviors, performance, accomplishments and the evidence of my success to an external standard. I’m making a case against myself compared to the law.
Want support for that “probably?” Matthew 7:2 says, “For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.”
Those words are from Jesus and many of us likely interpret what He is saying as the standard God holds us to, but I don’t think so for those of us that are born again by the Blood of Jesus. Jesus didn’t die on the cross to provide conditional grace. He offers me grace no matter my performance or the judgment I operate in. I can’t mess up the totality of His sacrifice for me.
The judgment that I pronounce is a declaration of the lens through which I see things. That lens applies to how I see myself as much as it does how I see others. I struggle to be satisfied with anything other than excellence so I struggle to be satisfied, period.
Satisfaction is not in accomplishment or even entirely in the truth. It’s in grace and truth (John 1:17), not just truth. Grace is to be our lens for how we view truth. That lens will have to be applied to ourselves if we ever hope to apply it to others.