Luke 6:37 (NIV)
For some reason I have the unenviable ability to pass judgment on people and situations and get caught with my foot in my mouth time and time again. Let me give you just one example.
A few summers ago, I was driving on the highway to my home from a city about 30 miles away. My little brown station wagon with no air conditioning resented the 100 degree plus weather even more than I did. My three friends (or at least they WERE my friends before this trip) liked the heat even less.
Suddenly my car began to cough and spurt and choke - similar to what WE were doing in the heat. I couldn't keep myself from groaning with dismay as I managed to guide the now silent machine with steam seeping from its hood to the side of the highway.
None of us knew anything about cars, so we stood beside the station wagon with the hood up, glaring at the engine as if we expected it to apologize for its behavior, fix itself immediately, and hum on command. Traffic ignored us for several minutes and continued to zip by.
Suddenly I realized what I should have been doing when the problem first occurred: I prayed. "Lord, please send us somebody who knows something about cars!" I whispered.
It could not have been more than one minute later that my friends and I heard an engine reduce its speed and turned to see a guy and girl on a motorcycle pass us, slow down (as if having second thoughts) and finally come to a stop several feet ahead of us on the side of the highway
My excitement turned to instant disappointment as the young man on the motorcycle took off his helmet and turned to face us. A dirty, red bandana tied back blonde, matted, sweaty hair that appeared to have no lasting relationship with scissors or water.
Tattoos of someone named "Cheryl" were evident from east to west and the look was complimented by leather arm bands accented with silver spikes. In my mind he resembled someone from a bad movie entitled "The Hippie Who Conquered Outer Space."
I was confused. God must be hard of hearing! "Hey," I prayed silently. "I asked for somebody who knows something about cars - NOT someone who looks like he came from Mars!" As he walked toward us, the young man smiled slowly and asked, "Need some help?"
We all stared for a moment and finally I volunteered, "Well, yes, but I don't think YOU can help us. We need someone who is familiar with cars."
He just smiled that easy smile again and said, "Well, I'm not sure about the "familiar" part but I AM an auto mechanic. Will that do?" as he tightened a part here and adjusted a switch there and the car jumped to life.
Forgive me, Lord for being judgmental! Please keep working on me. I think I have a long way to go!
Father, forgive my arrogance for trying to tell you how to answer my prayer. Forgive me when you send me exactly what I need but I am so judgmental that I don't recognize your answer to my situation. Help me to look at people around me with your eyes of love and compassion. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
R.A.P. it up . . .
Is there a friend who you need to ask to forgive you for judgmental comments you have made about her?
Has being judgmental become a habit that you might not really want to break?
Go to a Scripturally strong friend and ask her to hold you accountable for your conversations and comments.
Ask the Lord to show you areas in your life where you are judgmental.
Think back over the last few days and honestly examine conversations you have had with friends. Were your comments judgmental?
Practice counting to 10 before speaking while you mentally examine the comments you are about to make. Are they judgmental?
Galatians 2:6 (NIV) "As for those who seemed to be important - whatever they were makes no difference to me; God does not judge by external appearance - those men added nothing to my message."
Matthew 12:36 (NIV) "But I tell you that men will have too give account for every careless word they have spoken."
Romans 14:10 (NIV) "You, then, why do you judge your brother? Orr why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God's judgment seat."
Ephesians 4:32 (NIV) "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you."
(For more of Nancy Hughes' writing, check out her blog, Encouragement from the War Room.)