The Ultimate Judge

“Whoever meditates on the mystery of his own life will quickly realize why only God, the Searcher of the secrets of the heart, can pass final judgment.  We cannot judge what we have no access to.  The self is a swirling conflict of fears, impulses, sentiments, interests, allergies, and foibles.  It is a metaphysical given for which there is no easy rational explanation.  Now if we cannot unveil the mystery of our own motives and affections, how much less can we unveil the mystery in others?  That is, as we look into ourselves, we encounter the mystery of our own, the depths of our own selfhood.  As we sing things like ‘Just as I am, though tossed about with many a conflict, many a doubt, fightings within and fears without, O Lamb of God, I come.’  And having recognized the mysteries that dwell in the very depths of our own being, how can we treat other people as if they were empty or superficial beings, without the same kind of mystery?”

Human eyes are not competent to judge human hearts.  Wisdom withholds personal judgments and extends personal kindnesses, because the Lord is fully able to judge.”

– Edward John Carnell’s inaugural address as Fuller Seminary’s President, 1955



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