When we judge – wrongly
Divorce hurts. Especially when it separates you from your children.
When I was a young mother, I had to pick up and return my children to my former husband every other weekend. Every time I dropped them off at the end of my weekend, I cried.
Returning my children to their dad hurt not only because I ached deeply for them, but also because of the reality of my situation. My obsession to lose weight (anorexia nervosa) cost me my family. I was devastated by what I’d done.
One Sunday when I drove to the designated place to hand over my small children, my sister-in-law met me instead of the children’s father.
Seeing her caught me by surprise. I felt so self-conscious that I couldn’t speak or look at her. As I helped the kids get into her car, I imagined how I must have come across to her – snobbish and ungrateful for the time she took out of her day to meet me.
In that moment, my sister-in-law could have easily judged me. If I were in her shoes, I would have thought, “Look at her! How rude! She doesn’t even have the decency to look at me, much less thank me.” Wouldn’t you have thought the same thing?
But she would have been wrong. The truth was, I was too ashamed to face her.
And that’s the point.
Most of the time, we don’t have all of the facts we need to make a fair judgment about someone in a particular situation. John 7:24 AMPC says:
Be honest in your judgment and do not decide at a glance (superficially and by appearances); but judge fairly and righteously.
My sister-in-law probably never judged me as I imagined. (Knowing her, she most likely didn’t.) However, many times, I’ve formed an opinion about someone – and thought I was correct in my assessment—but I was wrong. Completely wrong.
How many people have I hurt with my hasty and superficial verdicts? How many have you?
What do you think?
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- When we’re tempted to judge, wouldn’t it be wiser (and more compassionate) to give others the benefit of the doubt?
- Isn’t that what we’d want others to do for us?
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