We have laws and judges that determine the consequences of our actions, which ones are right, and which ones are wrong. Because sin is what separates us from God’s love, however, God judges us differently, condemning all sin as equal. This can be a hard concept to grasp because some sins may affect fewer people, and others may have greater consequences here on earth, than others sins. We decide exactly how bad things are for ourselves, but that just isn’t how God is. “And if you call on him as father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile” (1 Peter 1:17). Peter is telling us that our time on Earth is exile, meaning our true home is with God in heaven, and we are only here to carry out God’s will. This is similar to when Paul wrote to the Romans, saying “We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things” (Romans 2:2), explaining that the Romans’ sinful ways go against the nature of our true judge, God.
Peter says we should fear our father, but why? Have you ever done something you know would disappoint your parents and you knew they’d find out? It’s a horrible feeling to hurt people who care about you. God cares about us more than we could ever know, which is the reason that we should fear him and fear disappointing him. God wants us to choose to be his devoted follower. He doesn’t want to force us to love him; although God wants us to follow him, he is the one who judges our works. God is perfect in every way and we can’t comprehend his ways, and he gives us grace when we fail even though we definitely don’t deserve it. We are called to work towards being the best follower of Christ (holiness) we can be and God judges that but he offers us his grace, peace and comfort as we face our daily battles.
Ask God to help you be more like him on a daily basis and be mindful of his fair judgment in all your actions.