From time-to-time you see bumper stickers on cars and tattoos on people with the saying "Only God Can Judge Me". The popularity of this saying is inspired by the Bible, people's own lives, but also from the fact that prominent rappers such as Master P and Tupac have used it as their album title and as an album song, respectively. Famous personalities such as Tupac and Zlatan Ibrahimovic also have that particular saying tattooed onto their body. It's a fairly popular tattoo, but it does make me wonder, why?
First off, the tattoo itself comes across initially as being fairly defensive. It is like the tattoo is put there to compensate for your own inadequacies and possibly questionable decisions you have already made in your life. I mean, it isn't the type of tattoo that you're going to get when you are first born as some sort of warning sign to the world, but rather a tattoo that you will probably get after a particular difficult period in your life or a tragic event. It's your way of creating distance between you and your erstwhile critics and requesting that those that are prone to judge you, should leave you alone.
The Bible is full of verses that reflect or speak or admonish us about judging and God's Judgment, such as Matthew 7:1-3: "Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?"
Also there is Luke 6:37: "Judge not, and ye shall not be judged…" Additionally we have John 7:24: "Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment." Within the Bible, there are numerous verses about judging and judgment but never is there the actual statement that "Only God Can Judge Me".
Further, while the tattoo seems to say what it says: "Only God Can Judge Me"; it also appears to invoke God as your personal protector and defender, but it doesn't go about it quite in the right way. First off, the statement is setup wrong, although it states: "Only God Can Judge Me", the fact of the matter is just about anyone can judge you, rightly or wrongly, because the word "can", means "to be able", and that ability pretty much rests with everyone. For instance, I "can" judge you, silently or not, wrongly or not, and you can't stop me from judging you. However, if the statement said "Only God May Judge Me", you are stating that only God has your expressed permission to judge you, and anyone else that judges you is out of order and irrelevant. That is a more powerful statement and hence more meaningful. It is somewhat akin to saying "all hands off, my life is between me and my God".
But in the end, when it really does come to your actual judgment day, it won't even be God judging you. While some may greet this news with a great smile on their face or some with confusion, the actual judgment of you will be done by yourself. However, this judgment will be done without equivocation, without excuse, without error, but just with Truth. You will face yourself, the real you, the whole you, and nothing but you, and within that facedown correct judgment will be rendered.