So many times in life I have been caught in the judgment trap; watching the angry man launch a cat over a fence with his foot, a person buying their 3rd new car in 3 years while “fighting” debt, a leader who rules with a heavy hand, a parent who always sounds angry, a friend who is easily broken emotionally…etc.

I used to feel justified rightly judging by these exterior appearances but I was missing the real question, “Where did these people start from?” Where did the angry man start from, maybe last year he would have stepped on and crushed the cat that was annoying him but this year he restrained and flung it out of the way. The person buying their 3rd car may be settling out from a life of entitlement and even though they are buying cars they may have just paid off $100k in debt. The heavy handed leader may have had a nearly murderous father and just 2 years ago would just dismiss from his life anyone who he didn’t like so at least heavy handedness doesn’t dismiss people. The parent who sounds angry is frightening but their parents not only sounded angry but beat them and locked them in a closet when they were angry. The emotionally broken person has a family history they are trying to change, you don’t know that their siblings and previous 3 generations are medicated just to emotionally survive and this person is trying to walk out their life unmedicated seeking healing.

 As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. “Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” Luke 21:1-4

Coming in a state of poverty this lady gave generously, if you did not know she was in a state of poverty it would appear she was withholding rather than giving generously. How often have I made a similar judgment against someone rather than seeing the generosity because I didn’t have a back story? Ouch, yes I am sitting here ouching away.

I want to learn to hope, expect the best until proven wrong, love…love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres and does not fail. (1 Cor 13:7,8) My eyes and heart need love especially for those near to me or else I fail in my relationships.

Next time you are frustrated with someone try and take the time to consider what their previous situation was, what their previous life was like, what they are trying to overcome and then reconsider your judgment for them. Does this justify their actions? No, but it will give you the compassion to handle the situation and probably bring healing to the person.

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