Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Judge Ye Not!

{Written By Bethany}

We were in the grocery store, grabing a few items before going home for the day. I spotted a young man an instantly a bad impression flew through my mind. I saw a slowchy teen-aged boy with baggy jeans that had chains drapping from side to side. I saw tatoos and a hair cut that was a bit weird, and on top of that there was an imodestly dressed girlfriend hanging off his arm as he scuffed through the store. I thought to myself "What a low life, he's obviously not a Christian becasue of how he looks....etc" As I continued to think bad thoughts towards the man I noticed that as he turned around there was a small book in his back pocket of his several-sizes-to-big-jeans. From the small bit that was peeking out I was able to read "Holy Bible". I was in awe of how the Lord used that young man to show me just how judgmental I was. Before I'd even seen him for 5 minutes I'd judged him wrongly. I still, to this day, don't know whether he was a true Christian or not. But either way the Lord used that store visit as a opportunity to show me how judgmental I can be without even realizing it or meaning to. How judgmental my sinful mind is.

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We were out in town and were in a parking lot getting out of the van. I noticed a young girl walking to her car with some other girls who may have been family members and my eyes quickly turned to her large stomach, clearly showing she was pregnant. I started to think negative things towards her, wondering how she could ever do such a thing. But then the Lord hit me with a thought. She is pregnant, and yes she's not married but she is still pregnant dispite the "option" to abort the baby. She could have easily gone and had it "taken care of" and never have to go through so many stares, mean words, harsh eyes, rude looks, and embarassing situations. The amount of courage it must have taken to choose life, despite the negative response of others was huge! But she choose to keep the baby, to save it's life. I realized that even though she had messed up {as we all do daily if not hourly}, she didn't make it worse by trying to cover it up or fixing the problem to make it look like she was innocent. She made it work, she adapted her life to fit the results of her mistake. God showed me that even though this young teenaged girl was pregant, she was really a hero to me, becasue she was strong enough to not abort her baby. For that alone should I treat her with respect instead of think unkinly of her.

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I was about 8 years old and we were at a science discovery museam. As we walked in I saw a lady with a long modest, plain dress and tennis shoes on her feet. My mind automatically began to think how "unfashionable" that outfit looked, and how her shoes totally didn't match her dress. I began to go on and on about how I'd never wear such a clothing choice in public. Before I'd even spoken to her or had time to make a first impression I judged her based on her outer appearence. How could she even stand to be in a feminine dress or skirt? I hated them! Now fast forward a couple of years. You see a family walking in Wal-Mart and notice that all the girls of the large family are wearing long skirts. You guessed it! Now I'm the girl with the skirt and tennis shoes on. { :D God sure does teach lessons in a interesting, unforgettable way, doesn't He?} Now I'm the girl out in public with the "unfashionable attire"! I'm the girl who wears skirts everyday and is willing to sacrifice fashion for modesty's sake! How the Lord has since then changed my heart! I now realize that it's not what you wear that makes you who you are! through this experience the Lord has shown me so much on judging!

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These are all an examples of the many times I've judged before giving thought to what I was doing. My sinful nature's first responce is to judge, to find something about them to grade myself against, to see how much more "godlier" I am than them becasue of some certain area based on the outer appearance. This brings to mind the story of the sinful man who begged for God's mercy at the temple humbly, were the "clean, innocent" rule-following man just was there because he was following the rules. Who was truly forgiven? The Lord has often shown me how I am quick to judge. I must let God do the judging, and it's a good thing I can't righteously judge others, otherwise if I judged myself according to how I judge others, then I'd be bound for hell for sure with no hope of Heaven! Thank the Lord for such a merciful God! Often times when I judge others I realize that I'm really making God sad becasue I'm thinking I'm better than others based on outer appearance. But 1 Samuel 16:7 tells us that: "The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." I'm told that my best acts of righteousness are as filthy rags...how much more my sinful acts? {Isaiah 64:6}

Judging is something our sinful nature is prone to, it's something that just happens before we realize it. We must train our mind to be merciful and to stop judging, leave it up to God. The Lord is the only True Judge so if we leave the judging up to Him then our lives will be a lot easier and we will be able to see people for who they are instead of pointing the finger. Blessings!


4 Words of Grace:

Hope's Treasures said...

This was a beautifully raw post, the fact that you were so open is quite inspiring. This was a good reminder, often times our human nature wants to just look at the outward experience, and not remember that god looks at the heart.
Blessings
~ Rache Hope

Mikailah said...

That is so true! How many times do we judge others, when at times we do the exact same thing; though perhaps with different circumstances, or situations. Thank you for sharing this! This really blessed and challenged me.

Blessings!
xo,
Mikailah @ www.maid4him.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Bethany,
Thank you for sharing. This is so true. This challenged and blessed me too.
In Him Alone,
Emily J.

HisPrincessWarrior said...

Wow, Bethany! Great post by the grace of God! Such a great reminder! That first example you shared about the young man withthe Bible in his pocket... wow. We have a young lady at our church with an infant boy, as well~ that story is close to home :) But she is a sweet young lady, and a loving mommy. This was really a wonderful post. It is so easy sometimes for us to be judgemental about the "mote" in our brother's eyes and forget we've got a "beam" sticking out of ours!!!!!