God is a judge, according to Kierkegaard.
The totality of an individual’s existence is the artefact on the basis of which she or he is judged by God for his or her eternal validity. — William McDonald
If so, what decides the “sentencing”? Our choices and our sincerity toward them — may be the answer.
Our choices form and shape us. Each moment counts. The “Moment” (Øieblikket, according to Kierkegaard), is the point at which time and eternity intersect.
It’s not just about separate moments but how we live our life as a whole.
God will summarize and weigh our choices and make a decision. The decision concerns “salvation” or “damnation”.
The proper path is to “become ourselves”. Something we don’t do by superficial acts or words.
Some hints regarding the meaning and hazards of superficiality may be reflected in the New Testament.
For example, Matthew 23 — A Warning Against Hypocrisy:
Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: 2 “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. 4 They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.
5 “Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries[a] wide and the tassels on their garments long; 6 they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; 7 they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by others.
8 “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. 9 And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10 Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. 11 The greatest among you will be your servant. 12 For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.
Similar teachings can be found in Matthew 6:
Giving to the Needy.
1“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
2“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Kierkegaard believed that we only become our true selves through faith. Ultimately it comes down to our relationship to God. That’s what should guide our every actions and choices.
Clarification about what Kierkegaard (1813–†1855) meant by this might be found in the following advice, which reportedly was given by Mother Teresa:
“People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.
At the end of the day, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.
It was never between you and them anyway.