A man walks into a grocery store with his family. While shopping he sees a woman with her oldest son, whom he thinks he recognizes but is unsure. She is being cautious with what she places in the cart, checking each item for it’s price. The man tries to ignore her but has a hard time. He notices that she is very thin, smells bad, and has a hard time walking, he can tell this because of the way she is leaning on her cart. Again the man ignores her and continues shopping with his family. As his family walks to the check out, he speaks to his wife and says to her that the woman should not be allowed in this store if she isn’t going to clean up. His wife hung her head but said nothing as she was thinking almost the same thing. The woman then waits behind them as they pay for their groceries. The family walks away and the woman thinks of how happy they are and wishes that her family was like that once again. If only my young son wasn’t sick and we had more food, she thought. The woman places a jar of peanut butter, jelly, 2 loaves of bread, milk, and some medicine for her youngest on the counter to check out. She held her head down as she paid for this was the last of the money for the next two weeks and this little bit had to feed her family of 4 children and herself, as her husband had passed away last year.
Now the same family, went to church that Sunday. He is so grateful for all the blessings God has given him. He sings, prays, and listens to the wonderful sermon. He remembers the woman and her son before placing his offering in the collection plate, only giving what he felt was necessary. Later, the next week he sits down to read the newspaper and sees a story about the woman from the store. She and her sick son passed away from hunger and having no heat in their home they both contracted pneumonia which they had no medicine for. He read how it was a tragedy that they had to place the other children in foster care and how their father had died in that terrible pile up on the highway just last year. It made him weep when he finally read that she had been a member of his church.
The Moral of the Story: John 7:24 “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”
It did not matter what the woman in the story looked like, smelled like, or what disabilities she may have had, but that the man with his family may have taken the time to love her and help her out, as Christ would have.
Matthew 7:1-6 “Judge not that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.”
We now live in an age where being critical of others is the in thing to do! Spending lots of time pointing fingers at people and stating what they are doing is wrong and that we only know what is right.
Jesus pointed this out very clearly in Matthew 7:1-6, that we are not to judge or be critical of others. Our punishment is that we are judged on how we have judged others. If you’re not showing the love of Christ or witnessing to the lost, but are pointing fingers, then you will be judged according to what Matthew 7 states.
Romans 14:13 “Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.”
We are not to be a hindrance when someone is trying to know the Lord or to someone who doesn’t even know him. We are to be compassionate and lead through Christ’s love and grace.
This is all that matters right now. Not each others opinions about theories, religions, race, sex, creed, color of skin, birth place, disabilities, nor marital status.
God is a forgiving God, and we need to heed to His son’s words about love. When Jesus was asked what is the great commandment he replied in Matthew 22:37-39 which states: Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'”
This is what we are supposed to be doing rather than pointing a finger or giving our opinions. We as Christians, being Christ-like, are supposed to be helping Christ in saving the world from sin and death, instead of encouraging it. We need to stand as a church, not the building, but the body of Christ and start loving others as Christ loves us!
Romans 13:10 Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.