Thursday, July 30th
An elderly woman was arrested for shoplifting at a grocery store. She had stolen a can of peaches. When she appeared before the judge, the following conversation took place:
Judge: Why did you steal the can of peaches?
Woman: Because I was hungry and forgot to bring my wallet.
Judge: How many peaches were in the can?
Judge: Ok, I’m going to sentence you to 9 days in jail. One day for each peach.
As the judge was about to drop his gavel, the woman’s husband raised his hand and asked if he could speak.
Judge: Yes, what do you have to add?
Husband: Your honor, she also stole a can of peas.
Judging; an issue that’s been around from the beginning. It is a sensitive issue, certainly in our world today. I believe if each of us are honest, we can admit to judging more often than we would like to admit. I will be the first to say, I’m guilty. I catch myself judging others frequently. Judging others is a waste of time and energy. So why do I continue with that behavior?
We live in a hyper-opinionated culture. As a result, we have become hyper-judgmental. All this judgment is unhealthy and unchristian. It is simply not our place to judge. Jesus speaks directly to this issue. Read Matthew 7:1-5
Jesus wasn’t spared the arrogance of human judgment. His actions and motives were constantly being questioned. “Why does he eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” Mark 2:16
All too often we disguise our judging as “just stating facts.” He’s too conservative. She’s a liberal. She’s friends with “those” people. Their child is the one who…. On and on we go.
The truth is this; we have NO idea what journey most people are walking. We look on the surface of the situation and draw our own conclusions (judgments) and most of the time they are incorrect. For example, we see an unmown, unkept yard in the neighborhood and judge the homeowner saying he is obviously lazy and doesn’t care about cleanliness. What we don’t know is that homeowner is in treatment for his cancer diagnosis and is not physically capable of keeping up his yard. We see a mother in the store with an unruly child and wonder why she can’t get the child under control. What we don’t know is that her child suffers from autism. We have an issue with our waitress at the restaurant who was rude and clearly had an attitude about serving our lunch party of 4 after our morning of shopping and pedicures. What we don’t know is that same waitress was told when she clocked in, this would be her last shift because they were downsizing their staff. So now, she must figure out how as a single mother of 2 she is going to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table.
We must be aware and catch ourselves when we are tempted to pass judgment on others. Let’s pray to have eyes that see like Jesus and for hearts to love like Jesus. These are radical prayers. But everything about Jesus was and is radical. He loves us with an everlasting love. He showers more grace and mercy upon us than we will ever be able to comprehend. My prayer is that God will help me live a radical life for Him. Will you join me in asking Him to do the same for you?
Until next week don’t forget to smile!