We must judge, reward, and punish to hold our society and world together.
We find it natural then to project all of this onto God, making him the ultimate judge. But this is an illusion. We made it up. What do you make of Jesus saying,
"The Father judges no one."
No one has seen the Father but the Son (John 6:46). He is the expert witness on who the Father is. The only one who has seen the Father says he
"judges no one."
Following this, Jesus says,
"The Father has entrusted all judgment to the Son."
So, if the Father judges no one and has entrusted all judgment to the Son, then does Jesus judge us? Jesus answers this question,
"Do not think I accuse you to the Father."
"I do not judge anyone."
The Father gave the Son authority and capacity to judge and Jesus refrained from doing it. So if the Father judges no one and Jesus, who could judge but doesn't, then who judges?
In John 8:15, Jesus explains,
"You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one."
There it is. We live in a world held together by judgment based more or less on arbitrary human standards. We are the ones who judge others and ourselves. We can't imagine our world working in any other way.
We judge ourselves because we feel guilty and we often judge others for the same reason. The biggest criticism of the church that I have heard over the past forty years of ministry is that it is so judgmental. I have always thought this very odd, since we claim to represent the God who judges no one.
You may judge that you are not spiritual enough, don't pray enough, etc., or that you are too fat, too stupid, or too wrong in some other way. That judgment is yours and yours alone. You either made it up or you accepted someone else's opinion of you.
Don't compound it by thinking God shares your opinion of you. He doesn't. When the Father looks at you, he sees his Son in whom he is well pleased. He has the same affection for you as he has for his Son. That Son says,
"I do not judge, for I did not come to judge the world, but to save it."
So let's let him save us.
Save us from judging ourselves and everyone else.