Tuesday, January 2, 2018
In Matthew 7:1 Jesus said, “Do not judge, or you will be judged.” I don’t think that Jesus was talking about ignoring the moral failures of others or to just idly stand by when we see injustice occur in society. Rather He was referring to my bad habit of thinking that I know what the other person really intended when he said what he did!…..that is, the tendency to judge another person’s heart.
We’re all guilty of this, and it’s tough to not, at times, tell a subordinate or a child, “I know what you really meant by this!” In fact, we’re told by Jesus that we do NOT know and to stop being so bold and negative, but to do quite the opposite: to assume the best about the intentions and hearts of others!
Can you imagine a world where everyone thought the BEST about you—and not the worst. What a blessed place this would be if all those that human beings are important to us always assumed we were doing what we did for noble or selfless purposes——rather than from a selfish or sinister agenda.
The Virgin Mary herself was once found to be mistaken when she assumed , wrongly, that the boy Jesus was being inconsiderate of His mother and father: "Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you. Why were you searching for me?" he asked. "Didn't you know I had to be in my Father's house? But they did not understand what he was saying to them.”
Now if the Virgin Mary can be mistaken about the motives of Jesus, I suppose that it’s a given that I will also be wrong about the motives of others!! But the lesson for me is that I must be careful, as she was, to not yell and threaten when one of my boys—-or a summer staff—does something that I consider to be wrong, until I take the time to listen. As I read of the anger and and wrong decisions of Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, and even of Saint Paul (in regard to his negative feelings towards John Mark) it is good to remember that all of us are at risk of being so sure we are right about someone or something, that we can’t receive the truth!
What will bring young people to Jesus Christ at our camp this coming summer is not an aggressive and dogmatic focus on our denominational doctrines or in what we’ve been “brought up to believe”, but rather, truth as revealed by the Holy Spirit. And sometimes I find that when I listen to the littlest, they speak truth in the most amazing and God breathed ways.
The question is, of course, am I still young enough to learn and receive the facts about God and His plan for me……or have I become too old and too unwilling to be proven wrong?
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