Monday, March 2, 2009

Critical Judgments

I heard a story the other day that made me ponder on our ability to set premature judgments on people. The story consisted of a family whom invited a prostitute into their home, willingly. Actually, the prostitute had been approached via the internet by an ordinary male. She thought she was there for ‘work’. When she arrived and was greeted at the door by a wife and her husband she didn’t know what to think. At first, when I heard this first part of the story, I didn’t know what to think either…The couple told the girl they were paying for her time to listen, nothing else. They proceeded to share their life story and talk to her about God and how He didn’t want her to persist on functioning this way as a prostitute selling her body to make ends meet. The girl’s first reaction was to leave and not be preached at, but she stayed and listened to their attempts at showing her the love of Christ.

At first, I thought, “This kind of a person can bring a lot of spiritual baggage and even be life threatening to my family. What if her ‘pimp’ decides he’s not too happy with our acquaintance and decides to do us harm? So many things can go wrong –real quick!”
“Do not be excessively righteous and do not be overly wise. Why should you ruin yourself?" Ecclesiastes 7:16

But then I thought about the girl. Who is she? Where does she come from? Does she even know she’s worth so much more? Does she have children waiting for her at home? Maybe she doesn’t want to settle for a regular occupation because the money’s not as good, or maybe she doesn’t even take home that much money because her pimp seizes all her earnings. Does she comprise any diseases? Does she even have a place to stay? What kind of people is she constantly being surrounded by?

This couple gave her an opportunity of adjustment. Whether she took it or not, she heard it and discovered there were many alternatives for her future.

“Indeed there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins. Also, do not take seriously all words which are spoken, so that you will not hear your servant cursing you. For you also have realized that you likewise have many times cursed others.” Ecclesiastes 7:20-22

How many times have we misjudged someone? They say first impressions are never forgotten. Yet on the contrary, people also say to never judge a book by its cover. Both these aphorisms are very popular. Which do you actually adhere to? We want to be that person that doesn’t criticize anyone, but are we? We say one thing here…and do another there. This is when I often ask myself: What Would Jesus Do?

I believe that people need a second chance, and a third and a fourth. The first impression is so misguided and false. We need to look beyond the person’s first impression and get into their heart and soul. See beyond those eyes of deception and climb over the walls of rejection. Some people have built a great barrier around them and won’t let just anyone in. Barriers need to be brought down. Arms need to be spread. Eyes need to be opened. Minds need to be humbled and hearts healed. Finding yourself in a position of sin, can happen to anyone and does. One sin is the same as another, sin is sin.

“Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation.” Romans 12:16

We judge so quickly those that simply need a hug and embrace. You criticize a person on the street for wearing shabby clothes yet it doesn’t cross your mind that that person might have a disease that takes hold of their entire paycheck for medications. Who cares about style when there’s kids going hungry? Sure you give a few bucks to the homeless but what do you do for that family who’s in need of groceries? We criticize their misfortunes and use their perils to make our lofty selves more sanctimonious. Our egos shine through yet our humility takes the back burner. We’ve convinced ourselves that we’re good people and yet our irresponsible actions continue.

By the way, that prostitute?…she was saved from the chains of immorality and sin. She finally bloomed into the rose God had intended her to be. All because a strange couple saw a light in her eyes when others only mocked and threw stones at her.

“Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?...But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground…He straightened up, and said to them, ‘He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.’” John 8:7

1 comment:

Teddybear said...

How true! Well written and to the point. We are not to judge.

Thank you for always being an encourager to me, Blessings to you and your family, Love Deb.

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