I’ll admit, I’ve gotten a lot better about this over the years. Which is only to say that I used to be a horrible person.
Yesterday, I stopped by the local grocery store on the way to church so I could get the ice cream (Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla) I promised to bring for the apple pie someone else was bringing for after church hang time.
I hate being late for church. Almost to the point that I will let it ruin my day. Yah. That makes sense doesn’t it. Anyway…..I obviously wanted a close parking space so I could get in, get the half gallon of tasty goodness that only Brenham’s finest and most content cows produce, and get out as quick as possible. That’s when I encountered something else I severely dislike. A car sitting in the middle of the aisle waiting for the people in front of him to finish loading their car so he could have the space closest to the store.
Now I don’t mind people doing that, but if you see another car coming, then move out of the way please. Well, he didn’t. On the left side of him, there was an open space that was maybe 15 feet further away. So I whipped my car around his and jumped into that space so I could get get in the store while he was waiting for that most sacred of parking spaces.
I jumped out of my car and headed straight in. But…..not before giving him a look that might scare most people. And I’m sure it’s scarier because of the fact that I open carry too.
Well, I got in. Got the ice cream. And headed straight for the self checkout so I could get going and still possibly make it to church on time. And then it happened. A bearded gentleman whose probably seen more combat than I ever hoped to see came up to me. He said “Hey man, I’m really sorry I held you up in the parking lot. I have a prosthetic leg so it’s hard for me to walk far and I really needed that close parking space”. He was genuinely apologetic.
Man was I a jerk. Immediately, I had a tear in my eye. And I knew I was a horrible man for acting so childish. I did my best to apologize to him for being such an ass. I might as well had been reduced to a pile of ashes right then and there. He was very nice about it. He shook my hand and accepted my apology. The drive to church was quite solemn for me. All that for a half gallon of ice cream.
Hide these words in your heart today. And don’t forget to consider that someone else might be worse off than you.
Matthew 7: 18 says these “bad fruits” tell us a lot about the “tree,” but that doesn’t give us the right to judge. We must remember that no one is perfect—each of us is a work in progress. While it may be wise not to be too closely associated with such people, we must be careful that we don’t judge them according to our standards and beliefs. We must pray for them and keep a godly attitude. Part of being a loving, caring Christian is to realize that people may not see things in this life exactly as we do. We are not all at the same level of Christian maturity, but we can be sure that God knows everything about each one of us. We must leave any judging to the only righteous judge—Jesus Christ.
James writes: “[ My] brethren, do not speak evil about or accuse one another. He that maligns a brother or judges his brother is maligning and criticizing the Law and judging the Law. But if you judge the Law, you are not a practicer of the Law but a censor and judge [of it]. One only is the Lawgiver and Judge Who is able to save and to destroy [the one Who has the absolute power of life and death]. [But you] who are you that [you presume to] pass judgment on your neighbor?” (James 4: 11-12).
Paul asks, “Who are you to pass judgment on and censure another’s household servant? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he shall stand and be upheld, for the Master (the Lord) is mighty to support him and make him stand” (Romans 14: 4).
May THE LORD bless you and keep you today. Go bless someone today.
Bill the Butcher