It's So Easy To Judge Others

On Sunday afternoon my daughter and I went to visit a girl who is suffering from drug addiction. She’s in that ‘no man’s land’ period whilst she desperately tries to remain off drugs as her doctor tries to find an available bed in a facility. We brought her a cooked meal and provided a few minutes of time to let her talk.

To see her on the streets, our typical human instinct would be to ‘steer clear’ and to keep our head down as we passed her by. It’s much easier that way, isn’t it? We simply judge and dismiss without knowing the facts.

But what happens when the same girl makes a tentative and brave step into a church for the first time? Christianity’s well-washed, impeccably dressed, and neatly manicured, who have gathered for their Sunday service do little more than offer nervous fleeting smiles, fidget with their hymnals, and look the other way. And sometimes, the same happens when someone arrives who simply looks or dresses differently. The clear message, whether intended or not, is 'go away, this isn't the place for you!'

We’d all be quick to defend our churches and say ‘that wouldn’t happen in our church.’ I do hope this is true. But the bigger churches and church institutions become the more chance there is for the creation of an insular atmosphere.

One of the more desirable consequences of growing a little older is that at least some of us begin to develop a greater awareness of our own faults and limitations, and stop projecting them onto other people as often as we did in our youth.

So when we read in the Gospels about the Pharisees berating Jesus’ disciples for pulling off and nibbling heads of grain as they walk through the fields, we perhaps can restrain our instincts to go for the jugular.

No doubt about it, it was both foolish and frankly suspect to call so trivial an act a serious violation of the Sabbath’s no-work rule, but before we rush to judgment, we might want to inspect our own record.

With what frequency do we focus on trivia in our dealings with one another? An eccentric mannerism may entitle some poor soul to our ridicule or worse. A modest physical defect may put someone else permanently outside the circle of our love and concern. And a human soul that has very clearly hit life’s bottom can repulse our senses.

Jesus had a magnanimous heart and a great spirit. He always knew what mattered and what didn’t, and He always found room in His life for one more of us, no matter how small or wounded or lost we were.

May our minds and hearts grow as large as His!

O Lord, grant me the will to greet the coming day in peace. In all my deeds and words, guide my thoughts and feelings. In unforeseen events, let me never forget the teachings of Your Son. Teach me to act firmly and wisely, without embittering and embarrassing others and always with compassion and love, never judging. And may I never forget that all who walk this earth are Your children and are made in Your image. Amen.

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At 14:52, Blogger Pastoral da ULBRA said...

Hi, thanks for coming.
Here is PAstor Lucas, Lutheran Chaplain of the Pastoral Service from Lutheran University of Brasil (ULBRA).

A hugh fron Brsail, God's blessings!

At 17:07, Blogger Father Bill Haymaker said...

Obrigado por tudo Pastor Lucas!
Muito prazer

o Deus seja consigo!

+Father Bill


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