A child screams in the grocery store. They must be bad parents.
A man holds a sign asking for money. He’ll probably use it to buy booze.
Sound familiar? I’ve been there, too.
When we judge others, we're putting ourselves in an elevated position, declaring ourselves
better than them. The Bible is very clear that God is the only judge and we are not to.
Psalm 139 : 14
"I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”
God made each of us in a wondrous way, yet there are times I forget to allow this verse to become practical. Not only am I fearfully and wonderfully made, but so are my neighbor and my customer that talks with her mouth full.
As a waitress, I have noticed that people tend to see their server as a fixture of the restaurant. In general, they don't see much more than the obvious. For example, a coworker and I get mixed up all the time - her tables will ask me for her check and mine will ask her for refills, only because we both have dark hair and glasses.
However, this verse in Psalm 139 forces me to look past the obvious. Working alongside of women of different backgrounds, especially single moms who can barely make ends meet, I have learned to never assume and never take anything for granted. I used to judge them because of their situations and decisions. I would puff myself up, telling myself, "at least I'm not like so-and-so".
I became like the Pharisee in Luke 18, thanking God that I was better than others. With that self-righteous attitude, I forgot that I am only what I am because of God's grace.
1 Corinthians 15 : 10
"But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain.
On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I,
but the grace of God that is with me.”
Comparison is an enemy of the Gospel. Satan convinces us that as long as we're better than our neighbor, we don't need Jesus. The devil knows that when we aren't living the Gospel, we cannot effectively declare it. When we're too busy using those less fortunate than us too feel better about ourselves, we can't love them. When we look to the cross and compare ourselves to Christ, we realize just how much we need Him.
God reminds me on a daily basis that "we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them" (Ephesians 2 : 10). Nobody deserves my judgment, and I don’t have the right to give it.
WE are his workmanship, God made ALL OF US in His wonderful image. Next time you're tempted to judge the smelly guy on the bus, pray God would show you a way to share His love.