We live in a world that is three dimensional in every way. We learn about the three dimensions in math class as length, width, and height. With these three dimensions we study objects of all kinds of shapes and sizes as we figure out their volume– the amount of “space” that they occupy. In science we study “outer space” which is simply a description of the vast expanse of universe which is too lengthy and wide and high to really comprehend. Also, in science class we try to describe “matter,” or the stuff that makes up our universe. It’s interesting that matter is fundamentally described as having three parts– protons, neutrons, and electrons. In History class we study the three dimensions of time– what happened in the past (history), what is happening now (current events), and how these events might shape tomorrow (the future). In English class we have to study the past, present, and future tense of a word in order to accurately express ourselves in the English language. Last, but not least, we wrestle in Bible class to describe and understand the Trinity (three-ness, but yet oneness) of the Godhead as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Truly, we do live in a world of three dimensions made up of three dimensional matter, three dimensional space, and three dimensional time.
Recently I was thinking about our actions as people in this three dimensional world, wondering how God can ever come to an accurate judgment of all the things that happen in his world in a days time. As I was thinking these thoughts, the concept of three dimensions jumped into my mind. Since most everything about God’s world is three dimensional, I had to wonder if he also uses a “three dimensional” standard of judgment as he weighs out the actions of mankind to determine if they are good or evil. Of all the actions, events, and happenings that take place in our world, I think the standards of judgment come from three angles or three viewpoints.
First, we have the eyes that look in at the motive of the heart. These eyes view the action from the perspective of intention. Jesus is very clear that the heart is the treasury from which our actions spring. The action is a window into the motive and intention of the heart. This concept is understood by all people, not just Christians, because even government law has “degrees of crime” written into it to assess the intention and motive of the wrong doer so that a proper sentence for the crime can be pronounced.
Second, are the eyes that look down. Proverbs 15:3 tell us that “the eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.” When God observes our actions I believe he judges them based on the great commandment– whether or not it was done out of love for God. Jesus was certainly the best keeper of the great commandment, so really the question is simple- “Would Jesus do what I just did?” Proverbs continually reminds us that God has two categories for our actions– wise and foolish. If our actions are done in the fear of God which causes a departure from evil, we have acted wisely. Proverbs 14:16 says, “A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil, but a fool rageth, and is confident.”
Third, are the eyes that look across. The main thrust here is how our actions impact others. Jesus himself extended the great commandment to be two parts. The first part is love for God, and the second part is love for neighbor. The eyes that look across are looking for actions that bless, encourage, and do good to our neighbor. Many New Testament principles spring from this concept. The Golden Rule in Matthew 7:12 says to do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Ephesians 4:32 calls for kindness, tenderheartedness, and forgiveness of each other. Ephesians 4:29 tells us that our communication should not be judged by how we think we said it, but by the result (or lack) of edification and grace in the lives of the hearer. The apostle John ultimately caps off the importance of this “other focused” mentality when he describes how it is impossible for a person to love God if they don’t love and prefer their brother (I John 4).
In our three dimensional world, could it be that God assesses our actions from three dimensions of judgment? Certainly he is the only one who knows all three perspectives perfectly, therefore making him the perfect judge of all our actions.
Lyle Musser (Administrator)