Written by: Amy Dalke
I have a tendency to judge people.
Which is not the most comfortable thing in the world for me to write on a blog. Especially on a church blog. I would prefer to tell you that I never act like I know all about the motives behind another’s behavior. Ever. Because Jesus talked about the speck in my brother’s eye and all that.
Yeah. Not so much.
Just this weekend, I really had a hankering to jump on a bandwagon, and run a person through the mud. Truth be told, I kind of wanted to throw them a verbal grenade on Facebook.
According to my own assessment, they were earning low marks on [my] Christian scoreboard, and I needed to let them know it.
Whoa. (Disgusting, I know.) That kind of attitude needed to come to a screeching halt before my mouth and my typing fingers took hold of it.
For starters, I don’t even know this person. We’ve never had a conversation. Not once have we sat down for coffee. (I don’t even know if he likes coffee.) (Which is hard to imagine, but whatever.)
My angry judgment of this person was based on speculation, opinion, and third hand information that circulated around the way he may or may not have handled a situation.
Since his way of handling it did not line up to my definition of “adequate” or “appropriate” or “right”, then I took it upon myself to determine what the quality of his character must be.
I basically decided he was a jerk, because social media said so.
But on Saturday night, I realized something: I don’t know his story.
Yes, I was aware of some facts, but only in part. And yet, the truth of a matter is more than loosely held bits of fact. The truth is not the sum of my opinion and your opinion.
In fact, when I don’t have full understanding of a situation, but I let my comments run amok anyway – then I’m just a fool airing my own opinion.
Proverbs 18:2: “A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.”
And wow, how often I play the fool’s part…
I am so thankful that our only true Judge is the one who sees every nook and cranny of our hearts. I know I’m a big time debtor to the grace of a God who doesn’t leave me in the hands of fault-ridden humans.
Aren’t we all? Not one of us would stand a chance.
When we receive the mind-boggling grace that God offers us in spite of our foolhardy ways, we are compelled to turn around and offer it likewise…to our neighbors; to our frenemies; and to everyone else in-between.
While our aim is certainly to seek justice and truth on behalf of the helpless, our angry words and mis-fired opinions might leave more of a mess than we intended.
Oh, to grace how great a debtor,
Daily I’m constrained to be…