Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand. -Romans 14:4 (NASB)
Years ago, I was in the parking lot of a store, and saw a woman not bother to use the shopping cart return “corrals,” but instead just leave their cart next to their car, then drive away. It seemed like they could take the time to not ding their car, but not take 30 steps to put their cart in the cart return!
I imagined all the extra work that the store employees had to take on to round up all those carts…and it must be even worse when it rained! I disgustedly extended my imaginings to think of what other thoughtless ways that woman must live her life.
In that moment, I became Judgy McJudgerson. From witnessing a few seconds of another person’s life, I decided she was a careless, insensitive, and selfish person. I would certainly not act like her!
Fast forward to today, and now I’m like that woman. Once I empty my cart into the car, I roll the cart to the front of my parking spot, then slowly drive my car out and away, taking care to not ding my car. Why?
I now have a young child in the car with me. I don’t want to be far from him, for his own safety. And maybe that’s what was happening with the woman I judged so severely years ago.
Paul says it well to the believers in Corinth:
But to me it is a very small thing that I may be examined by you, or by any human court; in fact, I do not even examine myself. -1 Corinthians 4:3 (NASB)
We see so little of the lives of others, and without actually walking in their shoes, seeing what they’re seeing and doing what they’re doing, we really don’t know what their stories are. It’s too easy to judge another person the second they make a little or big goof by your standards, and more difficult–but God-honoring–to give them the benefit of the doubt.
The bottom line is this:
It is God alone who judges; he decides who will rise and who will fall. -Psalms 75:7 (NLT)
I’m tired of judging others and being judged by others. By remembering that we were created by Him, to worship Him in how we live our lives, and that He alone judges, a huge weight is lifted from our shoulders so we can live victoriously. Thank You, Jesus!