Judge not, that you be not judged! (Matthew 7:1)
Dr. Charles Swindoll, a respected and admired bible teacher in the Christian world, was invited to speak at a camp. A gentleman came to him and said, “Oh, Dr. Swindoll, I have waited so long for this week, I am going to eat up everything you have to say.” Swindoll thanked him.
Sunday night, the man was sitting on the front row, and the man started nodding. Swindoll figured that he had a long drive and was probably tired. Tuesday night, the man started nodding, and so it was on Wednesday night also. Swindoll was now getting a little upset. How could this man sit on the front row and nod away? Swindoll thought. As a preacher who had prepared well for this occasion, it didn’t feel good to see someone sleeping on him. He was getting frustrated with the man. Thursday night, the story was the same.
On Friday morning, the woman sitting next to him came to Swindoll and said, “I want to thank you for the ministry this week. Oh, and by the way, I apologize about my husband sleeping on you. You see, he has terminal cancer and the doctors have given him a couple of weeks to live. When we discussed about what he wanted to do before he died, he said, ‘I want to go hear Chuck Swindoll.’ Dr. Swindoll, the doctors have put him on strong medications to alleviate his pain, but they make him extremely drowsy. I sincerely apologize that he has been sleeping, but I honestly wanted thank you for making this the best week of his life before he goes home to be with the Lord.” Swindoll later said he would have crawled under a rock, because he misjudged, and reacted without proper investigation.
James cautions his readers about discriminating and misjudging people when he writes, “For if there should come into your assembly a man with gold rings, in fine apparel, and there should also come in a poor man in filthy clothes, and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say to him, “You sit here in a good place,” and say to the poor man, “You stand there,” or, “Sit here at my footstool,” have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts? (James 2:2—4)”
In the last couple of months, God has been teaching me to be sensitive, and not fall into the trap of misjudging and writing people off, but rather, work towards building people up so that they are lead to a closer walk with God. And my sincere prayer is that He will grant everyone reading this article also to do the same.
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