Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Lose The Gavel

"Lose The Gavel"
By Zach Wood
James 1:19-20
I know this sounds like a silly question, but how many of us would walk into a store and ask to buy only part of a picture frame?  Or how many of us would buy a painting and ask to only have half or just part of it?  No, we want to buy the whole thing and see the whole picture.  We don’t just break off half of it or part of it.  We want the whole picture to look at.  If we only buy half or part of it, then we can’t look at the whole thing.  Makes perfect sense, right? 

We do this in the way we view others and their situations.  In a sense, we’re only seeing part of the picture and not the whole picture.  Many pieces of the picture are not there and we just choose to react quickly and not see it.  This is where most of us get into trouble.

We judge people before we even know who they are and what their situation is.  We really do not take the time to listen before we get angry.  This sadly tends to happen in churches today as well.  People get immediately judged when they walk into a church building for worship.  They are feeling very insecure and nervous already and then they end up dealing with people who glare at them right after they walk into the sanctuary. 

One way we are judgmental, at least I know I am, is when someone is tailing me in traffic.  As soon as this happens, boy do the assumptions and thoughts starting flying through my head!  Why are they riding my tail so hard?  Why can’t they just slow down? 

How quickly we seem to judge people and get in our own world and forget what other people may be dealing with.  We think what we want to think and do not give people the benefit of the doubt.  We easily look at others and we fail to just stop and think that maybe they are having a horrible day or something bad has just happened to them or they may be dealing with multiple things and they are just ancy to get to their destination.  We really have no idea what they are dealing with. 

This is a powerful passage from James in reminding us that we need to become much better at listening to other people and their situations before we jump to conclusions and become angry.  Listening is something we need to become much better at doing.  If we take the time to listen and understand the whole situation and see the whole picture, we can learn to understand better.

Remember the next time you are tempted to judge someone quickly, lose the gavel and take the time to understand.

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