A couple months back the doorbell rang. Unexpectedly.
Which, in turn set the weiners to barking. These days that’s pretty expected.
I answered the front door to find an overdressed young man with a huge smile that was holding a clipboard.
He asked, “Are you the Man of the House who makes all the FINANCIAL decisions?”
“Nope.” I replied, “I’m just the guy they send out to deal with The Idiots. Whatcha selling?”
Needless to say, that kinda soured the conversation.
Yes, I agree. Not one of my finer moments. And yes, I probably AM turning into Walt Kowalski, Clint Eastwood’s character from the 2008 movie, Gran Torino.
Some days I’m even kinda okay with that. But that isn’t the point.
The point is that I judged the poor kid (and his inept sales manager) faster than a fart gets flung in a fan factory.
Early today I stumbled into this statement: “You can’t judge someone and love them at the same time.”
It’s been bugging me all day. And of all the things I could think of to say about the phrase, repeating it is perhaps the most remarkable: You can’t judge someone and love them at the same time.
And that holds for family and spouses and children and all sorts of people. Whether or not they’re YOUR family or spouse or children or people.
The fact is, we’re not called to judge. We are called to love.
Face it: We’re quick to judge others. Sometimes we do it consciously, sometimes unconsciously. We judge people based on their words, their actions, their opinions, their choices, their beliefs. Even their clothing. You name it, we judge it.
Does that sound like what Jesus wants us to do? The guy who said this:
“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.”
Matthew 5:43-48 CEV
Today as you interact with people, take a look at your interactions. Consider whether you’re treating them with love or judging them.
It’s one or the other. By definition.
My friend Kirt once said, “Maybe we need to try and figure out why God would actually love them.”
Today, choose someone and exchange judgement for love. Not somebody easy. Someone that burns your toast. Maybe try honestly praying for God to show them his love today.
Because sacrificing judgement in favor of loving someone unlovely…