There is a true story of a man who got onto a crowded subway train in New York at rush hour. At the end of the car sat a man who sat silently just looking off into space. He had two small kids that were doing what little kids do. They were running up and down the aisle, making a lot of noise, and running into people as they went.
As the traveler watched this unfold, he became more and more indignant. Finally, he went down the aisle and loudly said to the man, “Sir! Would you PLEASE control your children? They are disrupting the whole train!” The man snapped out of his trance and tears welled up into his eyes. He said, “I am so sorry. We just came from hospital and my wife just passed away. I was sitting here thinking how I was going to break the news to my children.”
Talk about changing the hearts of everyone instantly. The mood immediately changed from one of judgment and condemnation to one of great empathy and sorrow. The question for all of us is, “Why are we so quick to judge other people? Why can’t we cut each other some slack?”
Next time you start to pre-judge someone, stop for a moment and ask yourself this question, “What could possibly be going on in their life to make them act that way?” The truth is, if I were to sit down and ask you what is going on in your life that you are concerned about, you would probably be able to come up with a number of things that are bothering you: Your finances, your health, your family, your friends, your job, your boss, your co-workers, your employees, etc., etc. The list goes on and on.
Everyone on this planet has issues, so let’s give each other something they may not expect…grace. Don’t you want people to do that for you? There is enough judgment in this world already. We have to remember that we will be judged by the standard to which we judge others. What goes around comes around, as they say.
Let’s give grace and forgiveness instead of judgment, love instead of hatred, hope instead of hopelessness. Life is short and we will be held accountable for how we treat each other. May we reflect God’s grace and mercy to others. That just may make the difference in whether they ever come to know God personally.