Wrongly Judging Others
A traveler bought a small package of cookies between flights at an airport. Then she sat down and began reading a newspaper. Gradually, she became aware of a rustling noise. She was flabbergasted from behind her paper to see a neatly dressed man helping himself to her cookies. Not wanting to make a scene, she leaned over and took a cookie herself.
A minute or two passed and then came more rustling. He was helping himself to another cookie! By this time, they had come to the end of the package, but she was so angry she didn’t dare allow herself to say anything. Then, as if to add insult to injury, the man broke the remaining cookie in two, pushed half across to her, ate the other half, and left.
Still fuming sometime later when her flight was announced, the woman opened her handbag to get her ticket. To her shock and embarrassment, she found her pack of unopened cookies! Sometimes, we judge others very wrongly!
Chances are good that we’ve not had that exact experience, but we’ve all had something similar. Something looked clear and obvious – when it was not – and we thought the worst of someone. Here’s my point and takeaway: Let’s be careful to give others the benefit of the doubt before we think the worst of them!
One more story to illustrate this point. Chuck Swindoll told of his being at a pastor’s conference where he would be speaking. On the first day there, a man approached him and said how greatly he had looked forward to hearing Dr. Swindoll speak and his delight at finally realizing that desire. That evening Swindoll noticed the man was sound asleep only a few minutes into the sermon. Swindoll thought that perhaps he was tired after a long day’s drive and couldn’t help himself – but this continued to happen night after night. Dr. Swindoll soon became very upset in his spirit with this man! On the last night, the man’s wife came up and apologized for her husband’s inattention to the messages. She then explained that he had recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer, and his medication to ease the pain made him extremely sleepy. But it had been one of his life-long ambitions to hear Dr. Swindoll speak before he died, and now he had fulfilled that goal.