Our world is upside down. Some things make no sense whatsoever. There are corporations which have never made a profit, yet their total stock is selling in the billions. Take Air BnB. The company has been in business for 14 years and has never turned a profit. The stock price is at $91 and has been as high as $210 per share. It is valued at $59,000,000,000 and the stock price is projected to rise to $176 within a year.
I saw the Netflix rating designation on a PG-13 movie which sited brief nudity, language, drugs, and violence. Though this is a caution to guard pre-teens, it is also the equivalent of giving permission for a 13-year-old. Whose judgement is that?
We will judge a peach for its color, looking for bruises, softness or hardness, smell and ultimately taste; comparing it to some perfect past peach. Then we delight in the peach for itself or we become less satisfied because it doesn’t match up to that mystical peach of the past. Would even that peach, could we dine on it again, equal the vision?
When someone cuts us off on the freeway, we scan the car for the state that issued the license, for the make and model of the car, whether it has been washed recently, the number of occupants and their attire, their race, their age, and their attention to our needs. We look to see if the highway patrol is nearby, and suddenly, we look at our own speed to judge whether we are at risk of being caught for some infraction. This all happens in about one second.
In Matthew 7 Jesus is quoted, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? … You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Notice that Jesus was talking about judging people not about judging situations or conditions.
It is really hilarious to watch what kindness does to rude people. I never laughed harder than when my father was being cussed out by an irate customer. Dad had to hold the phone away from his ear; we heard every word. At some point the fellow took a breath and my father said, “Mr. Jones, has anyone ever told you that you have an amazing command of the English language?” The line went quiet. Then the fellow thanked my dad and they proceeded to straighten out the problem.
Creativity and a sense of humor can go a long way to smooth over the rough spots in your life and in the lives of others. We have always judged, but it is more what we do with our judgement that counts. Action is the measure of our heart. You can go wrong by choosing some form of punishment or accusation when you do not know all the facts. We rarely do know. Here is the trick. You will always do right when you lavish kindness on those very situations and people whom you have judged to be wrong. Give it a try, you may surprise yourself.