This morning I was reading some scriptural text from an old classmate. He was giving his views of what the Bible says and it was definitely God-inspired as he saw it. Some of it was actually quite good. Afterwards, he began spouting his political views which differ from mine. I always question how someone could quote God but not love all of His creation. At that very moment, a light came on and I realized this was just exactly what I was doing!! I was judging this man while questioning his authenticity and intelligence.
Previously I had seen a cartoon of a dog chasing his tail and the caption read how easy it is to entertain and amuse a dog by chasing his own tail. Then the author said that he thought he had been amused by this for almost ten minutes! That, too, hit home for me.
Philippians 2:15 reads “So that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe.” This is only true without judgment; leaving all judgment to God.
Recently while driving, a car sped past me flying! All at once I began watching him while speculating how fast he was going. Continuing to watch and judge him, I happened to glance down at my speedometer and it was registering ten miles an hour over the speed limit. Somewhat amused, I was reminded what someone said to me years ago, “Remember, when you are pointing your finger at someone, you have three pointed at yourself.” That is so true! That is exactly when there is something I need to address in my own life.
Psalms 119:34 states “Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart.” Today, I will be conscious of my own needs of improvement, but lovingly.
Yesterday an old classmate of mine posted that he had been in line to pay his bill at a restaurant recently and was standing behind a man that appeared arrogant and impatient. My friend said he finally said to him, “How are you doing, Chief?” The man replied that he was doing the best he could in trying to deal with his wife’s cancer. He had so misjudged this man and soon they were having an intimate talk and love and concern was expressed.
How many times have we done this? It takes real humility to listen to another with true compassion on what is being said and what is not. This opportunity comes to me daily and my goal is to express more and more love no matter the circumstance. Love is always the answer.
“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:18
When Eve was tempted by evil or error to partake of the fruit of the tree of “good and evil”, she and Adam had every thing they needed, but that wasn’t enough. She wanted to be able to judge! Even today, the thought of judging is often so seductive that we are willing to give up our peace in order to have a human opinion and voice that opinion. Shakespeare said, “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” And God said in Genesis 3:2-4, “The woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman.
There are so many times we want to focus on what we do not have rather than on what we do have. Isn’t that what Eve did and that removed her joy and peace? Today I will focus on gratitude and humility and that should keep me busy!
John 8:7 states, “So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, ‘He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.'” This was not only meant for that occasion with the woman caught in adultery, but for any time we think it necessary to see “ungodlike” qualities in someone. Once I read a sentence from an article that is so true to me. ” When I cease to judge, criticize or condemn, I begin to make progress.” This also can mean toward ourselves as well!
Today I will neither judge nor evaluate myself. By comparing myself to others only leads to either pride or inferiority! When I cease judging, I begin to make progress. Luke 6:37 reads, “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” Today is the Lord’s day and I will rejoice.
Sometimes when I become opinionated, I remember a citation from our textbook, which reads, “Students are advised by the author to be charitable and kind, not only towards differing forms of religion and medicine, but to those who hold these differing opinions. Let us be faithful in pointing the way through Christ, as we understand it, but let us also be careful always to ‘judge righteous judgment,’ and never to condemn rashly.” There is only one God!