Today’s Scripture: Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment. John 7:24

 

This had to be the longest train ride Jeff had ever experienced. For the entire trip, three children sitting across from him were being obnoxious as their father looked on without saying a word. While the children made faces and screamed, Jeff watched the children’s father, hoping, praying, and silently pleading that he would get them under control. His wish was never granted. With each stop, the influx and outflow of passengers brought no respite from the terror of the children.

Jeff’s patience had finally reached its limit. He decided he would ask the obviously ignorant father to keep his children quiet. But before he could transmit his thoughts into actions, the train made its final stop. All of the passengers, including the man with his unruly children, exited the train. On the way out, the father of three told Jeff, “I’m sorry about the way my kids were acting. Their mother has cancer, and we are going to the hospital to see her.”

Oh. Suddenly Jeff saw the situation from a different perspective. He quickly swallowed his anger and went on his way.

From our limited perspective, it is easy to find fault with others. Wisdom, however, attempts to see the situation from the other person’s point-of-view. This fresh perspective creates understanding and often tempers our criticism. Wisdom also trains us to think before we speak and to see the good in others while turning a critical eye toward faults in our own lives.

Have you ever been hasty to judge, only to find a fresh perspective revealed nothing worthy of criticism? We’ve all done it. Maybe you have jumped to a conclusion about a person’s character after seeing or hearing about a mistake they have made. Perhaps you have secretly (or publicly) criticized the motives behind someone’s actions without getting their side of the story. Starting today, let’s act with wisdom and try to see situations from others’ points-of-view before we criticize.

 

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.