JESUS THOUGHT THE BEST OF OTHERS. DO YOU?
Have you ever been hurt by gossip? Judgment is a part of gossip’s poison. People will make assumptions and judge others without having all the information. I know this first hand.
Before I was diagnosed with a brain tumor, I had to take a leave of absence from work. I was clinically depressed but I was ashamed of the diagnosis. I did not want my co-workers, students, and parents knowing my mental health issues.
Because I did not disclose the reason for my absence, gossip flew around the school where I was employed. I was too depressed for visitors and talking on the phone was exhausting. People wondered why I isolated and assumed I had been disciplined for some wrong.
I had one friend at work that knew why I was on leave and her gentle spirit helped to nurse me back to health. I never spoke to her on the phone. Rather, we would send short emails to each other. That was all I could do.
My friend could see my pain and knew that she could not press me too hard or I would have disappeared completely. Encouraging words and short notes about everyday life were exactly what I needed. She was my lifeline. It helped knowing someone was thinking of me and did not need to know every detail of my devastating depression.
When I eventually returned to work I was treated like a leper. Nobody asked how I was or hugged me upon returning. Some educators would not even give me any eye contact. I felt like the snubbed outsider in High School. After suffering a breakdown, I had to return to work as an outcast, ostracized and judged. People can be so cruel.
Jesus thought the best of others. Tax collectors, prostitutes, those afflicted with leprosy, Roman soldiers, beggars and thieves were all looked upon with compassion and love. We should learn from Him by thinking the best of those around us instead of the worst. There is usually a good reason for someone’s bad or unexpected behavior and it is not our business to know all the details. We don’t know all the events in a person’s life or the pains they have suffered. So why are we so quick to judge??
Like the woman caught in adultery whom was about to be stoned, let us consider the statement Jesus posed….”“Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Then ask yourself why the older men left first. Finally, what do you think Jesus was writing in the dirt? There was a message in the dirt for those judging the woman but the exact words were not added to the Bible, for a reason. We don’t need to know!! We do not need to know all the details in a person’s life but we do need to show compassion before we jump into judging. We do not know the path God has asked them to walk so it is right to think the best of them. If God wants to reveal their sin to you He will, otherwise give them the benefit of the doubt.
JOHN 8:15 (NIV) You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one.
JOHN 8:3-11 (NIV) The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing Him.
But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with His finger. When they kept on questioning Him, He straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground.
At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
“No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”