One of the most destructive life-philosophies that you can have is the view that “I should be able to do anything I want.” No, you should not be able to do anything you want. It is important that each of us police our actions only to do what’s right so that we do not bring grief to God, abuse other people, and bring judgment on ourselves. The Bible warns us what will happen if we do not judge our own actions and repent of them:
For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world. (I Corinthians 11:31-32 NKJV)
Paul says here that the only way to not be judged by God is to judge ourselves first. This means we need to identify our sin and repent of it with humility so that God does not have to address the issue with us personally after we die. Now, this passage is specifically talking about God’s judgment on believers–not on unbelievers who have not truly believed in Jesus Christ. Paul says that when believers are judged that they are chastened by the Lord so as not to be condemned with the world. What I think this means is that God uses various tools of “chastening,” to inflict pain and suffering on a disobedient Christian in order to get them to stay on the narrow path of righteousness, so that they do not end up walking the broad road that leads to destruction. These tools of chastening can be likened to the whip that a circus trainer uses to control a disobedient animal. It hurts, but ultimately it is used to teach the animal what should be done and what should not be done. Let us respond obediently to God’s chastening and repent of our sins here, on Earth, before we must give an account of our life directly to God, sins so that we do not have to be judged for the horrible things we have done.