Thursday, July 10, 2014

Thursday Thoughts - Mercy or Judgment?

Mercy or Judgment?
I can't think of a single person in my life who does not desire to be treated with mercy.
The desire for mercy is as natural as the desire to sin. Just as I did not  have to teach my children to lie, I did not have to teach them to ask me to show them mercy. We all desire for those around us to see beyond our human-ness and show us mercy when we act out of anger, are preoccupied, are not compassionate, are rude, or demonstrate any of the attitudes we defend with "That's just how I am." We want others to accept us with all of our flaws (grace) and forgive us when they feel we have wronged them (mercy).
 While everyone desires mercy (even if they have learned to not expect it), few are eager to show mercy. I have known numerous people who pass judgment on those who have wronged them while at the same time crying for mercy for having done wrong to others. 
No one wants to be "judged". Oftentimes judgment is based not on facts, but on a person's opinion. There are few feelings worse that being "misjudged".
Some examples I see over and over again are
  • The woman who is debilitatingly shy is judged as standoff-ish, rude, or a snob.
  • The person who is eager to help and to lessen others burdens is judged as pushy, nosey, or accused of trying to "run things".
  • The homeless woman who was molested by her father, abandoned by her mother, and feels utterly hopeless to ever find someone to actually love her is judged as worthless, lazy, and a burden to society.  
It is in our nature to judge others based on what we believe they should do or be. We judge people based on OUR lives, not theirs.
Next time you are tempted to judge someone, be it your husband, child, friend, co-worker, boss, elected official, minister, minister's wife, parent, neighbor, sibling, sales clerk, etc., stop for a moment and consider the merciful response. If you were on their side of the situation, how would you want them to respond to you?
 Just my thoughts,
"For Ladies Only" is the ladies ministry of Pearson Baptist Church in Pearl Mississippi.