Tag Archives: judging

The Wonderful People

Story of the Day for Saturday October 1, 2011

The Wonderful People

                    Don’t judge by how things appear. . . 

                                                                   John 7:24

 While waiting for her flight, a woman bought a book and a package of cookies and took a seat in the airport terminal.  As she was reading she noticed the man sitting next to her began fumbling with her cookies.  He opened the package and helped himself to one.  She couldn’t believe it!   Not knowing what to do, she reached over and grabbed one of her cookies and started to eat.  And then it happened again, he grabbed another cookie.  The woman was not about to let a stranger eat all her cookies so she grabbed another one.

With one cookie left, the stranger broke it in two, gave her half, and walked away.

Still fuming, she reached into her purse to get a tissue and . . . there was her unopened package of cookies.

 

As a matter of fact, I have developed a cool theory based solely on judging by outward appearances.  I think I can tell how liberal or fundamental a congregation is by the shape of the cross on their church.

If you see a church with a big, fat cross: they’re probably fundies.  They usually don’t paint their cross, but if they do, it’s black.

The loosey-goosey liberal churches have really skinny crosses.  They’re usually made of metal.

If the cross is real ornate, that means the church is probably real stodgy and ritualistic.

And so on.

I know I’m not supposed to judge churches simply because of the kind of cross they put on their church.  But I do.

 

Do you do that kind of thing?  Do you ever find yourself judging the character of someone based on the length of their hair or how they dress?

What do we do about that?  After just confessing my habit of judging the theology of congregations on the basis of their church crosses, you’re probably not looking to me as the ideal source for advice on this topic.

I’m not the ideal source, but here is what I do.  I haven’t learned to stop making judgments about people based on appearances.  Some day, I hope I will.  But until then, what I do is learn to recognize those areas where I tend to draw hasty conclusions, and then go out of my way to prove my initial judgment false.

 

Today I picked up a hitchhiker. Hitchhikers, as we all know, are bums who are either too lazy to work or losers who lost their driver’s licenses from too many DUIs.  (Are you getting the picture here?)  So, my goal is to prove how wrong my assumptions are.

Guess what?  I’m discovering that most hitchhikers are kind, or down on their luck, and are humbly grateful for the ride.  The guy I picked up today broke his back and is strengthening it by riding his bike.  But it hurt so bad that he had to leave it at a car dealership and hitch a ride the rest of the way to town.

You wouldn’t believe the wonderful people I’ve had the pleasure to meet since I started treating people this way.

                                       (copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)

How Dare You Judge Us!

Story of the Day for Monday September 26, 2011

How Dare You Judge Us!

                     He was despised and forsaken by the people. A man of sorrows, acquainted with grief. 

                                                     Isaiah 53:3

 On the great Judgment Day, when all stand before God, some in the teeming crowd began to raise their voices. They weren’t weeping with cries of shame or remorse. They were angry.

One of them shouted to those around him, “How can God judge us?”

“Yeah,” shouted a woman, “what does God know about the kind of life and suffering we had to go through?” The woman lifted her arm to reveal the brand of a tattooed number from a Nazi concentration camp.

“Our persecution was unimaginable. We endured beatings, torture, and death!”

A black man stepped forward. “What about this?” He lowered his collar to show an ugly rope burn around his neck.

“Lynched!  For the crime of having dark skin.” He spoke bitterly of the injustice he and his people had suffered: betrayed by Head Hunters, forced into slave ships, separated from family, and forced to live without recourse to justice.

 

Soon everyone had their story to tell. They spoke of the shame of being born an illegitimate child. Lepers painfully recounted what it was like to be an “untouchable” and to live isolated and lonely.  A businessman told his story of financial success – only to be betrayed and defrauded by his friend and business partner, and to die broke.

A movie star edged closer to the center of the complaints. The crowd sneered at her as one who didn’t know what it was like to suffer misfortune at the hands of God.

But the movie star won them over. Through tears, she recounted her life of celebrity. Everybody wanted to know her, but she could trust no one. Wherever she went, she was hounded by crowds pleading for autographs, paparazzi chasing her every move and selling every unflattering photo to the scandal magazines, who created false or misleading headlines of her personal life.

“How would you like it,” she asked, “if, whenever you try to sneak away for a short vacation, you are swarmed by those who could care less about invading your privacy?”

The crowd murmured their approval, and included her in the group.

 

The indignant crowd chose leaders to approach God’s throne and present their grievances. They chose a Jew, a leper, a black, and an untouchable from India. On behalf of the others they presented their case before God.

“How dare you judge us! You sit here removed from the temptations and sufferings we endured on earth, and now you have the gall to judge us for our anger and failure and retaliation against those who hurt us?” Another added, “You don’t know what it’s like to endure what we have on earth.”

There was silence while the leaders awaited God’s response. Then someone stood up before the throne. He stretched before them his nail-pierced hands.

And, in that moment, they realized that God had already served his sentence.

                                                               (copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)