When I was younger, I had a bookmark that I kept in my Bible. It said “Daniel: God is my judge.” It scared me every time I looked at it.
Today at church the pastor was talking about Jacob’s name change. He went from Jacob, the deceiver and trickster, to Israel, one who had “striven with God and with men, and…prevailed” (Genesis 32:28 ESV).
I started thinking about my name. For as long as I can remember, my name has scared me. For most of my life, the only interpretation I had of my name was that God was a scary judge. I saw Him sitting on a great white throne, in a great white robe, with a great white gavel, condemning and punishing me for all the wrong things I had done. I thought having God as my judge was a curse. I thought I was doomed to do all sorts of bad things and that it was my fate (even more than others) to suffer through the judgement of God and that it would hurt.
I’ve changed quite a bit since then. When I think about that statement now, I know it’s good and I like it. I want God to be my judge. I want to present my life directly to Him and have Him alone make judgements on it. I don’t want to chase the approval or care about the judgements of man. I’m glad that God is my judge, because God can discern motives. It’s impossible to please men because you’ll always run into people who disagree with you or will be unsatisfied with you. But God is concerned with motives. God will be pleased with me as long as my motives are to love Him and do His will.
It’s fun to see how I’ve changed, because I’m changing for the better.