Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Graciousness Over Judgement

By: Jenifer Metzger

The other day I was driving down the highway and in my rear view mirror I see a car quickly approaching behind me. I look to see if I can safely get over, I cannot. With quite a bit of traffic, there was no where for me and my big truck to go. Mr. Speedy behind me will just have to slow down and be patient.

He doesn't. He whips his tiny car in and out of traffic so quickly that I am sure he is going to hit someone. He doesn't. Once he gets through the traffic jam, he races off going far above the speed limit. I roll my eyes. And to be honest, I called him a name. I yelled to the car who will never hear me, "You stupid driver!"

That is when I feel it. A God spanking. God gently nudged me, telling me, "You don't know his story. You don't know why he was driving so quickly. Instead of judging him, pray for him."

Graciousness Over Judgement #judgingothers #judgement #kindness #graciousness #gracious

Then I feel a flashback to the day I received the call saying just two words, "It's Papa." Not knowing if my grandfather was still with us or not, or what had happened, we sped down the road, whipping in and out of any cars that might be in our way.

I don't know Mr. Speedy's reason for flying down the road. I don't know if he had an emergency to get to, if he received a phone call from a loved one telling him terrible news. I don't know if he was having a bad day and dealing with some serious anger. I don't know if he was just driving reckless and putting lives in danger for no reason at all. But that is just it: I don't know his story.

I jumped to the conclusion that this man was "stupid" and driving reckless for no reason. I judged him without knowing the truth. Now, before I go on, let me give a disclaimer. I do not condone driving reckless or speeding for any reason at all. However, I also do not condone judging someone.

Let your graciousness be known
to everyone. The Lord is near.
Philippians 4:5 CSB

We are called to be gracious and kind. In Philippians Paul even tells us to let our graciousness be known to everyone. Everyone. It can be so easy to judge others, especially those we will likely never see again, like the driver tailgating us or speeding, the grocery store clerk with a bad attitude, the waitress who can't get our order correct, or the doctor taking too long to see us. We jump to whatever conclusion fits our mood at the time and needlessly judge someone. Our graciousness, our Christian witness fly right out the window.

Instead of allowing our heart and mind to jump to judgement of others, we need to practice jumping to prayer. When we face a situation as we previously mentioned, deal with someone at church or work, or whatever the case may be, we need to pause, take a deep breath, and pray for that person. Then allow our graciousness to be known.

After receiving my correction from God, I paused to pray for Mr. Speedy. I asked God to protect him and let him arrive safely at his destination. I asked God to be with him and whatever need that was causing him to speed. And I asked God to put someone in his path lead him to Christ. Then, I asked God to help me jump to graciousness and prayer instead of judgment.

1. Do you struggle with judging others without knowing their story? Don't worry, we all have done it.
2. What do you do to catch yourself and refrain from judging in exchange for letting your graciousness be known?

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