“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
Matthew 7:1-2 (NIV)
Luke chapter 19 tells the story of a tax collector named Zacchaeus. The Jews viewed all tax collectors as friends of the Roman Empire and therefore their enemies. They judged Zacchaeus to be a “sinner” and stayed out of his way. They may have been correct in their judgment, but Jesus did no such thing. Instead He took the time to have a meal with Zacchaeus and in doing so, He discovered the “gem” that was inside of him. Zacchaeus’ encounter with Jesus inspired him to give away half of his belongings to the poor and to pay back fourfold anyone he had cheated.
There may be times when our judgment of someone is correct. The wisdom of the world might say it’s best to stay away from certain people just like the Jews judged it best to stay away from tax collectors. But the wisdom of the world is not the wisdom of God. People are in desperate need to have an encounter with the living God. And with God’s Holy Spirit living inside you, you can bring people that encounter. Zacchaeus’ life was forever changed by his encounter with Jesus and it was all because Jesus chose to engage Zacchaeus instead of judge him. Let that be a lesson for all of us when we are tempted to judge.
God bless you,
Photo Credit: Noree Wegmeyer