Maybe there are Christians that have never stumbled. I just know that I’m not one of them! When I’m judged, I hope that God takes into account the hurts and circumstances that led me down wrong paths. I have plenty of excuses. I could explain it all. I don’t want God or anyone else to expect me to be perfect.
But, do I expect others to be perfect? Do I forget to take into account all the hurts and circumstances that may be in their lives? Even worse, do I judge a person based on how they look?
Jesus said, “In the same way you judge others, you will be judged.” Mathew 7:2
I don’t know about you, but I want to be judged with abundant mercy!
Jesus said, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye, when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?” Mathew 7:3
“For the Lord sees not as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 AMPC.
I work in a large and very diverse middle school. I have an opportunity to ‘love and not judge’ everyday. God has reminded me that many of these kids have not had the advantages in life that I have.
When I get impatient with a student and inwardly roll my eyes in disgust, Jesus speaks to my heart, “And you’re perfect? Do you even know what’s going on in this kid’s life?” Then I am reminded of things I do know. He could be falling asleep in class because he slept in a car last night, or maybe he doesn’t have a bed of his own, or maybe he was left alone with a crying baby all night while his mother was out.
When a student tells me to shut up, do I get angry and take it personally? God, remind me that maybe this child is never spoken to with respect and love at home. Maybe he is being abused and is lashing out at authority.
Maybe this child is apathetic because he hasn’t eaten since lunch at school yesterday.
Maybe he is apathetic because his mom died this weekend.
Maybe he acts out because his mom never shows up for visitation and he is disappointed over, and over, and over again.
Maybe, maybe, maybe ….
If only we could see God’s plan for those we tend to judge. If only we could see them with God’s eyes of love and mercy. I am not special or better because of what was given to me. If anything, more is expected from me. More patience, more love, more understanding.
One morning on my way to school, I prayed “Father, I don’t know how to make a difference in the lives of my students, but you do. That very day my principal posted an article, The Judgement Cure. The author said, “You cannot influence anyone as long as you are judging them.”
How’s that for a quick answer? Wow! That was almost a year ago and I’m still trying to learn this lesson. I believe it is the key to influencing others.
Because I have worked in 5 different public schools, I have seen abuse that the average middle class person may never be exposed to. Examples of abuse, neglect and suffering that break my heart. May God soften our hearts and teach us to walk in love.
“if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. … Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” I Corinthians 13: 2-8
This Is My Journey Unscripted.
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This is a reprint from 2017.