The line from this old song by A Cappella “Who are you to judge your neighbor,” keeps going through my head. There have been several instances this past month where I have been painfully reminded that we’re not to judge and of the truth in the saying, “believe none of what you hear and only half of what you see.”
The first time I was reminded of this ideas was the second time we had visited a church in our new town. Like the previous week, the preacher seemed distracted and even though there was a fellowship going on, he didn’t begin a conversation with us, even though we were visitors and sitting right behind him. Having been a preacher’s daughter, I found this behavior kind of strange, and wondered about it, even thinking I really like the church, but wasn’t quite sure about him as a leader.
Then God straightened me out. A week later the preacher announced that he was resigning and he and his family were moving back home to take care of ailing family members. I felt ashamed. Here I was judging another for acting the same way I have several times over the past year when I’ve moved in my head before my body has actually left the place we’re living.
Then there was the instance with a student for mine. He was already a B/C student, but over the weekend, his work took an turn for the worst. My first thought was, “What in the world is he thinking?!” Luckily my second thought was to check on him to see how he was doing. He quickly responded that he’d had a family crisis during the week that was distracting him from his work. I was so glad that I had taken time to think this time, instead of judging him.
Finally, on Monday there was an incident with Liam’s old swim teacher. When we’d had her over the summer, she’d been warm and welcoming, but that morning as she saw to other duties she was very brisk and acted like she didn’t even recognize us. At first I was a little hurt and aggravated, but then I reminded myself that it probably had nothing to do with me and everything to do with what was going on in her day. I wish I could say I sent up a quick prayer for her, but I forgot.
Like me, I’m sure you have many incidents in your days, where you’re tempted to make snap judgments about someone’s actions or looks. It is so easy to assume we know where those actions and appearances come from, when in fact we’re usually completely wrong.
So as you go about your week, remember “judge not that you may not be judged” and let’s cut each other a little slack and extend a smile and love instead.