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Rusty Mullins: Judge Judy is My Hero

Posted 2/1/2018 at 9:40am. Column by Rusty Mullins.

I have a confession. I love a married woman. I have discussed it with my wife, and she understands. Allow me to explain: I love Judith Sheindlin, or as she is known to most of the world, Judge Judy. The word to describe how I feel about her is probably not love, but more like admire and possibly envy.

I have always enjoyed watching TV. It was my babysitter as I was growing up in the 70s and 80s. While it did nothing to expand my intellect, it did make me someone you’d want to have on your team in meaningless trivia games.

I don’t have the time to spend watching as much TV these days. I have a few shows I follow regularly and a few that I like to record in re-runs and watch again.

One show I’ve recorded for a long time is “Judge Judy.” The show is made up of actual small-claims court cases that have been agreed upon to move to arbitration. She is not actually a judge in a court; she listens to each side and determines a fair arbitration outcome.

It is not the legal part of the show that attracts me. I am not overwhelmed by her beauty; in fact, she enjoys saying that she didn’t get the job for her looks but because she is wise. There is nothing overly flashy about the production. What I like—what I fantasize about—is the ability to be able to say exactly what I think without having any repercussions!

I think Judge Judy tries to be fair and that her decisions normally make sense. She is able to truly express herself, and she does so regularly. I have always dreamed, for just once in my life, to be able to call a spade a spade and to not worry about what others think when I express myself.

When Judge Judy doesn’t believe a story, she says so—frankly and blatantly. She says she is a human lie detector and if what she hears does not make sense to her, she tells them that she thinks they are lying and nobody talks back to her! That looks so fun! She is free to fully express herself, and if the person talks back to her, she can remove them from the courtroom (or more correctly, I suppose, from the television soundstage).

All my life I have had to pay attention to the words that come from my mouth. Why? That is what the Bible says to do, and I have always tried to be gracious with my words. The book of James is pretty clear, especially in chapter three, that if we profess to walk in faith, we must learn how to control our “tongue.” Verse six tells us that the tongue is a “fire” and capable of doing great damage, and verse eight follows that up by saying that the tongue can be “full of deadly poison.”

James kind of wraps up his lesson about the tongue by saying that “praising and cursing” should not come out of the same mouth. So, I have spent 40-plus years trying to control my tongue. My goal is to allow the Holy Spirit to be my filter. I continually want to seek God’s blessing on everything I say, and in order to do so I must speak with grace.

While it looks like fun and I admire the way Judge Judy handles things, I guess I will continue to follow the advice of James.

Rev. Rusty Mullins is the senior pastor at New Highland Baptist Church in Mechanicsville, Virginia.

You can read Rusty’s previous columns here, and you can contact him via email at rusty.mullins@newhighlandbaptist.org.