Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend
“The Dos and Don’ts of Judging”
Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment.
I am a long-time fan of San Antonio Spurs of NBA; therefore, I didn’t appreciate the way its star player Kawhi Leonard handled himself before demanding a trade last year. Insisting that he wasn’t fully recovered from a previous leg injury, he chose to play sparingly during the regular season and sat out the entire playoff in which his team lost in the first-round.
Fast forward to this year’s NBA playoffs, now that Kevin Durant, a top player, suffered a devastating leg injury while playing with a previous leg injury that apparently wasn’t fully healed, and the fact that Leonard, now playing with healthy legs, just won the NBA championship with his new team, maybe I shouldn’t have been so harsh in judging Kawhi’s motive. Perhaps, he did what he had to do, if anything, to avoid getting hurt again.
Several years ago, I did the same (judging prematurely) when criticizing Facebook to my daughter Christy. In response, she (at the time still in college) retorted, “How can you criticize something that you’ve never used.” Oops! So when I asked her to be my “friend,” that is, after finally getting my own Facebook a year later, she wrote: “Ohmygoodnessyouhaveafacebookeeeps.”
That wasn’t the first time something like that happened. In her senior year in high school she was reading three books that were unfamiliar to me, but I didn’t let that keep me from criticizing them; she didn’t like that either! So after reading them eventually, to my amazement, I liked Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller and The Shack by William P. Young (but disliked Brian McLaren’s Everything Must Change). Why? Certainly, content matters (i.e., is it biblical?) but ultimately, in reading a book, the reader is personally interacting with the author, and sometimes you end up either really liking the writer or disliking him. In this case, I became quite fond of Miller and Young (but not necessarily McLaren).
There is much more to say about judgment than what I am sharing here but for now remember this: to make a right judgment we need to have all the facts! So do some “research” before judging something or someone! Sometimes, we may need to wait awhile before all the facts are in; at that time, we may discover that there isn’t any need to judge anyone or anything.
I will leave us with the words of Jesus, recorded in Matthew 7:1-4, that will help us to make a right judgment: “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
Prayer: Dear God, help me to check myself before I pronounce a judgment against someone or something, lest I inadvertently become a hypocrite. Most of all, thank You for not judging me to hell on account of having placed my faith (also a gift from You) in Your Son and what He did on the cross. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: 2 Samuel 7-8.