Let us clear our minds for a moment and imagine a point. A single black dot, about the size a sharpie would make, on a white piece of paper. This point or dot is a representation of an action, like walking an elderly woman across the street. From this point we can draw, lets say, five lines radiating all different directions. This looks like one of those old fashioned horse drawn buggy wheels, minus the outer circle of course. The lines are representations of the roots or branches: desire. Desire is the structure that supports the dot: the action. One of those lines represents righteousness, while the others represent paths that are not coming from or leading to Life.
“I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” John 10:10
We are about to learn why no people group is in a position to judge another’s actions except when using righteous judgment.
Many different motives and goals may share the same outcome. It is the heart that is judged when righteousness is involved. It says in Genesis that the human heart is evil.
“Then YHVH saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” Genesis 6:5. Man was tending to his nefesh (H: being) poorly during this time in history.
I want to build a Messianic surf hostel in each of the four corners of the world. One day while showering I was sitting in the cross legged position and was imagining the building, complete with a facility for assembly. I imagined a woman from my past, who lived in Costa Rica at the time, showing up and saying, “Wow Tom, this is amazing, look at all that you have built.” I answered with exactly what I knew to be the Christ-like thing to say: “It was Messiah Yeshua who built all of this through me. I didn’t build it.” Here, in my imaginings, The Lord stopped me and told me to dig deeper into what I had just said to Lauren. Not seeing any issues, but knowing He was unhappy with my response I happily dug into what I said, searching for where I could improve. Oh did I ever find room for improvement.
Those words, on the surface, sounded good, but how deceitful satan is! He uses our own lips to lie to us! Those words, turns out, were an outward expression of what? Of me trying to glorify me. Wait, what? Hold the laundry! How could me, explicitly saying “glorify God”, be an attempt to glorify myself? That gets daedal, but the short of it is simple: my goal was to get her to respect and honor me, by saying a Christ-like thing. My goal was supposed to be to get her to see the glory of and marvel at Yeshua. The realization changed my life because I believed I was trying to get her to glorify God. It took God telling me to dig deeper into my response, my being obedient and willing to do so, and Him pulling back a veil that was on my heart, while shining a flashlight into a dark place within that wicked thing. I learned what my body was being used for and I did not like what I saw. Whoever has walked the path of righteousness far enough has found this common flaw all people share, within themselves.
John the Baptist handled this understanding by keeping in mind what he told people his role was,
“He must increase, but I decrease.” John 3:30
even though the work he was doing was monumental. Not only was his work monumental but he could have easily been led to believe he deserved a high rank of honor and respect among people for he sacrificed the plush life of being a Temple authority.
(describing John’s parents) “There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain Priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah. His wife, of the daughters of Aaron and her name: Elizabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of The Lord blameless. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both well advanced in years” Luke 1:5-7
The realization I had is a major Yahrzeit (H: memorial) in my walk. It also scared me and pushed me away from other believers because I knew that no matter how well somebody could say they were believing in Messiah Yeshua, they themselves can’t know if they are unless they have been revealed to themselves.
Let’s move on to another example outside of my personal experience. Here is a scenario that will help us understand why we cannot judge another’s actions unless righteous judgment is being exercised. If you are looking to spread the gospel you may find yourself walking an old lady across the street. If you are trying to impress a man or woman of integrity, you, serving lust, may find yourself walking an old lady across the street. If you’re trying to show the community you are of good fiber so that you can get an investor for a business? You guessed it: you may find yourself walking an old lady across the street. Apropos, each of those scenarios has the same outward expression. The only way that it could be you working for The Kingdom of Heaven is if your motivation is a result of believing on Messiah Yeshua. Let’s say you skipped prayer that morning and in skipping prayer you did not hear that He wanted you to be in Alabama because a sick friend needed your help. You are not in Alabama, but you are on your lunch break and are doing said deed. Well unfortunately, righteousness is a narrow road that few find. Our works are dirty rags and faith is obedience.
Fortunately, God’s grace (power) is such that even in a world where so many accepting His authority but denying His power are disobedient, existence is still bearable, enjoyable even for most.
Here is another scenario from my experiences learning this lesson. It can be graphic if you are not able to see it from the pure standpoint and if that is the case for you, please forgive me. In a rail-yard I noticed some graffiti’d words on a rail-car. It was so beautiful. I couldn’t help but laugh at it because of what it said! I had been taking pictures of rail-yard graffiti for quite some time then, as I had planned on making a picture book of it, connecting all the pictures in such a way that is glorifying to Elohim. Maybe one day I will still do that. So, there I sat in my PTI vehicle, having a good wholesome laugh at the graffiti’d remark, while contemplating the things I had been learning (the things expressed here in this article), in contrast to the graffiti I was seeing on the side of a rail-car. You must be wondering what it said.
“I love virgins”, as plain as day was spray painted in graffiti on the rail-car before me. “I love virgins” is an outward expression of a deep and meaningful thought to the graffiti artist. It is a point, or a dot on a page. There is nothing to it but to denigrate the “artist”, I agree. There are two lines leading to his point, though and graffiti head was clearly standing on the wrong side of the matter. One line is righteous. Why? because God loves virgins too! What Yeshua does with a chaste and precious virgin is beautiful while the graffiti artist was thinking about trash (most likely).
That’s why I laughed. I figured I knew what the graffiti artist meant. That thought sharing the same place in my mind with how I knew God viewed virgins was too much. The stark contrast was hilarious: a good laugh found it’s way out of my mouth. I looked again, smiled at Our Father, shook my head at the simpleness of the trashy mindsets of the world and the graffiti artist, took a picture and have remembered that day since. I often reflect on how funny it was that the graffiti artist, driven most likely by lust, wrote something that could easily have shown up in Scripture.
Lastly, and a very extreme scenario: there were two men who each built a church. Both church’s saved souls, preached the gospel, and fed the poor. One man was accepted in God’s sight while the other man received much greater condemnation on judgment day than most others. Why? The man who received the greater condemnation was a high ranking mafia official who made his living selling drugs and prostitutes and “protecting” businesses in exchange for a forced percentage of their profits. He believed he was doing the best he could for himself and his loved ones in a rotten world, which he was. It takes a lot of intelligence, determination, hard work and sacrifice to be a person of that stature. He built the church as a piece of the puzzle that was his outward appearance, his mask, in attempt to deceive people. Many were deceived and trusted him. Inside, he was rotten, not because that was his nature at the start, but because he did not have the strength to fight against the rotten world around him. He never accepted the strength that is offered in humility and submission to God. He was a bad egg.
Friends, The Father judges the heart. You should not, unless you are walking with Him. The world uses human hearts to spring forth all kinds of evil from what seem to be wholesome motivations. Do not be desperately wicked like I was. Do not follow your heart. Do not do what feels best, or feels right. Do what is right as judged by Yeshua. There is a whole book on it. Start at the beginning and read it for yourself with an open mind. He died to save you and He is victorious, but He does not carry dead weight for too long.