I’ve learned through experience it’s never a good idea to judge someone else. You can never truly say how you’ll react in a given situation until you’re living right there in the heat of the moment.
Consider these scenarios…
1. You press charges against a teenager who’s caught shoplifting a pair of running shoes from the store where you work. You want him to receive the severest penalty so he’ll learn a lesson.
QUESTION: If you knew you were going home this evening to face three hungry children and an empty cupboard would you give in to the temptation to dip into the petty cash drawer before you left work so you could buy a little food for your family?
2. You look down on your neighbor when she tells you her marriage ended because she had an affair.
QUESTION: Did you stop to consider how quickly the “harmless flirting” you do with your married co-worker could degenerate into a full blown affair, given the proper circumstances?
3. You view the homeless people on the street as lazy, good for nothing bums.
QUESTION: If you lost your job tomorrow and couldn’t find work for six months where would you be? How far in debt would you be? Could you keep up your mortgage or rent payment?
4. You see ex-convicts as outcasts of society, not to be trusted, and certainly not to be given a second chance.
QUESTION: Would you be able to restrain yourself from taking the law into your own hands to get revenge on someone if they hurt your child? Would you end up in jail because of your need to seek revenge?
Please don’t misunderstand. I’m not saying circumstances make it OK to blur the lines of morality or to take actions that are illegal.
I’m simply commenting on the fact that we’re quick to judge and condemn other people when they do something wrong or act in a way we feel is inappropriate. Here’s our problem though; given a desperate situation we might find ourselves dancing around blurred moral or legal boundaries.
Jesus has some very sound advice for us when it comes to judging others…
“Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged. And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.” Matthew 7:1-5 (NLT)
Are there any “logs” in your eye that need to be removed? Please share your thoughts on this topic by clicking on “comments” below.