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Passing Judgment

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  • Rick Stilwell
    Life is never as bad as you think it is, and it s never going as well as you think it is, either. I was talking to someone yesterday, and she was commenting on
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 15, 2004
      Life is never as bad as you think it is, and it's never going as well as
      you think it is, either. I was talking to someone yesterday, and she was
      commenting on how there are so many people who are so much worse off than
      she is. In her own pain and circumstances, she's still comparing herself to
      others and seeing that her own situation isn't so bad.

      But I wanted to tell her that we still can't compare things like that from
      our limited perspectives. While I might look down on a man having problems
      with his children in the store, I can't stand in judgment - I don't know
      that his son might be dealing with a painful inner earache and that's shy
      he's throwing a fit. Or that maybe his wife left him and he's just doing
      the best he can. Or that he might actually be looking at me and looking
      down on me since I'm overweight and while I'm saying "poor man", he's
      saying "poor man" right back.

      Just thinking out loud. Jesus said not to judge, lest you be judged, and
      that whatever measure we use to judge others, that same measure will be
      used back on us. In the context of forgiveness (Matt 7:1-5; Luke 6:35-38),
      maybe the "measure we should use" in judging others is mercy. We are so
      quick to demand justice for those who are wrong, and so quick to look for
      mercy for our own mistakes. But if we were to judge with forgiveness in
      mind, perhaps we'd also be quicker to receive the forgiveness of others.

      I'm just rambling, but I think I go on the defensive when confronted with
      my own life - because I am being offensive in my own judgments of others
      when I think they are wrong, and I expect them to be offensive in their own
      judgments of me. I am being judges as I judge, or at least that's my
      perception. Would I be better able to take criticism if I stopped being so
      critical? Would I be better equipped to repent if I'm also doing a better
      job of being forgiving towards those around me? Hmmm...

      peace - rick
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