Where Whine Meets Wine

YOU Are Not My Judge

on June 7, 2011

Last night I attended the memorial of my cousin, a man who for the last decade had spent most of his moments ministering to everyone he met. His favorite ministry was in jails, as he’d been a troubled teen who’d been there. Unfortunately, the last months of his life were in unwind. Things that had previously been of the highest importance, no longer were being prioritized. I don’t know what happened or why, but I am sad for an end that didn’t have to be. He was someone that was a little bigger than life, in personality. And in those ten years he changed people, you could see it in all the faces of those at his service, in their tears, as well as their stories shared. Growing up, I think that he was someone that people maybe tossed aside, deemed as too troubled, too wild, or just plain disposable. He was wild, uncontrollable, unreliable, a father at 16, and he bounced around homes… Fast forward to him being 20 and finding people that no longer felt he was disposable, who saw what  and who he could be. And he thrived.

What it had me thinking about this morning is something that I’ve talked about before, it’s the way we judge others. How different would the very people we tend to judge be, if we were to stop judging them and just start supporting them. I am not saying you let everyone (or anyone!) take advantage of you, and I’m not even speaking financial support…just support. That the next time you saw someone or came across someone that to you seems out of control or doing or saying or living in a way that is maybe unhealthy… just be nice! And not just those that are visibly unhealthy! What if you gave the next stranger on the street that accidentally bumped into you and didn’t apologize, or say excuse me, a smile and meant it. The point is, we don’t know everyone’s story, where they’ve gone and where they’re going… and it’s not ours to judge.

After all, haven’t we all been judged before? Unfairly, unreasonably, and hurtfully? Don’t we all have one place or one time where we knew we were judged? (Please tell me it’s not just me!) I can recall vividly the way it felt when I was going through something a lot of people in my life didn’t understand. I had left a relationship and a college that I knew were not what I needed, even though everyone around me seemed to feel decidedly different. I even received a letter from a woman, who really didn’t know me or anything about me, telling me how because I wasn’t getting married, and I wasn’t in school that I wasn’t following God’s will, or His plan for my life. It was followed by lots of advice and direction from people in my life, telling me what I should do next, where I should go, how to get back onto my path… the funny thing was, I never thought I was lost. I always knew that this was the road I had to take, and it would lead me to where I was supposed to be.

It’s not the same as my cousin’s life and I am by no means saying it is, it was just my jumping off point and what I’d been thinking about that lead me here… Anyhow, as it turns out, I was right, the road I’d been on was not the one for me, and I knew I had to take a side-street to get me to my true destination, my true path…the one God meant for me. And that’s the one I’m on now. The one where I’m married to someone who respects me and treats me with respect, the one where we have three beautiful children, the one where I’ve found my place. I am on my road.

And maybe the person next to you that is doing something that you don’t agree with, or maybe it just annoys you, and you really want to reach out and smack them on the back of the head… maybe instead  you reach out and give them a handshake, a hug, a cup of coffee, or simply a smile. Maybe your not judging them for things that are not within your control anyways, will be what it takes for them to pass it on to someone else. Some roads are unhealthy (like when my cousin was young) and some are just misunderstood (like mine) but judging and pointing fingers are not the answer. Can you imagine all the self-validation if we spent more time building each other up, the way we should be doing instead of tearing them down so we feel better, or look better, in comparison?

Rest In Peace

2 responses to “YOU Are Not My Judge

  1. John says:

    I very much enjoyed reading this, Sara. Thank you for being a voice of those being judged unnecessarily.

  2. scott hale says:

    You are absolutely right and very well said.

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