We’ve all done it. At some point in our lives…we’ve picked up our stones and cast our judgments and assumptions on another person without taking time to check our heart. We hurtle insults, disparaging thoughts & comments that are intended to malign with every stone. We do untold damage to the person we have targeted, to ourselves and to those around us who get caught in the crossfire of our arrogant speculation.
I’ll be honest…I did it this week. I found myself making judgments in a situation with someone who appeared to be shirking their responsibility. So I quickly determined with accuracy and precision that this person was a flake, a slacker, irresponsible and disrespectful. I did not give this person the benefit of the doubt. I did not even consider that there might be a reason for their absence. I assumed…and we all know what happens when we “Assume”.
Imagine my surprise and dismay when I got an email a few days later from this person whom I had sentenced in my heart. I learned that I was wrong…horribly wrong.
The person I had deemed to be irresponsible had been in the hospital in a coma and recently diagnosed with a brain tumor. This single mother of a 7-year-old little girl with no family to speak of and few friends was confiding in me the very person who had unknowingly been her judge and jury.
The sting of regret, remorse and guilt flooded over me and left me feeling sick. I could hardly control the grief and sadness I felt for her and her unfortunate situation and then later for myself and for the ways I disappointed God and myself.
Scripture is pretty clear about not judging others and about our responsibility to honor God with our hearts, thoughts and actions. In this situation I failed. I had to make a decision about that failure…would I allow it to eat me up or would I lay it down before the throne of grace and allow God to use it to teach me and draw me closer to Himself.
I choose the throne of grace and pray that the next time I will be able to extend the same grace that saved a wretch like me.
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged.”
“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven.”
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.