Think It Over - Quick to Judge

On a recent Sunday, Anna Belle and I were waiting to cross the driveway in front of the church as cars were making turns into the parking lot. There were three teenagers in front of us and instead of waiting on the curb, they encroached about one-third of the way into the crosswalk.

The policeman directing traffic shouted at them, “Get out of the street.” They just ignored him and fearing for their safety, he walked across the intersection and told them again to get back. They still ignored him, not even looking at him, which he didn’t appreciate, so he yelled, “Don’t you understand English?” He then told our parking attendant to push them back, which he did.

As the parking attendant approached them, they looked at him so backed up. As they were backing up, I had the same attitude the policeman had except I wasn’t focusing on their safety. I was focusing on their behavior. I thought, “Just like rebellious teenagers, always pushing the envelope. I hope the policeman comes over and gives them a ticket. That will teach them not to ignore a policeman, who, according to the Apostle Paul, are ministers of God.”

Then I saw something. One of the teenagers was signing the others to get back. They hadn’t heard a word the policeman was saying as they all were hearing impaired.

Now, they should have waited on the curb, but they weren’t the rebellious teenagers I had judged them to be.

As I reflected on this in church during communion, I was reminded of how many times I have been, “slow to hear, quick to speak and quick to anger.” I often have judged quickly without knowing the facts and have been unkind.

As our outstanding organist, Richard Unfried, played, “Jesus Paid It All,” during communion I thanked my heavenly Father that He is, “compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in loving-kindness.” Through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ all my sins have been paid, including the rush to judgment I had just committed.

Lord, I thank you that You see everything in Your clear, pure light. Your judgment is perfect. You know all the facts, yet in your mercy you have spared us. Help me to be slow to judge and to extend mercy. I also thank you for these dear parking attendants who volunteer their time, keep the traffic flowing properly and protect our safety no matter what the weather is.