It is very important that we are sensitive to the needs of others and not
be quick in judging someone else because it may affect them in ways that
we never thought about beforehand. This is a good story that shows how
making quick assessments of others will hurt them, even if we meant well
while doing so. I hope this story will minister to you like it did to me.
I saw him in the church building for the first time on Wednesday. He was
in his mid-70's, with thinning silver hair and a neat brown suit. Many
times in the past I had invited him to come. Several other Christian
friends had talked to him about the Lord and had tried to share the good
news with him.
He was a well-respected, honest man with so many characteristics a
Christian should have, but he had never put on Christ, nor entered the
doors of the church.
"Have you ever been to a church service in your life?" I had asked him a
few years ago. We had just finished a pleasant day of visiting and
He hesitated. Then with a bitter smile he told me of his childhood
experience some fifty years ago. He was one of many children in a large
impoverished family. His parents had struggled to provide food, with
little left for housing and clothing. When he was about ten, some neighbors
invited him to worship with them.
The Sunday School class had been very exciting! He had never heard such
songs and stories before! He had never heard anyone read from the Bible!
After class was over, the teacher took him aside and said, "Son, please
don't come again dressed as you are now. We want to look our best when we
come into God's house."
He stood in his ragged, unpatched overalls. Then looking at his dirty bare
feet, he answered softly, "No, ma'am, I won't ever."
"And I never did," he said, abruptly ending our conversation.
There must have been other factors to have hardened him so, but this
experience formed a significant part of the bitterness in his heart.
I'm sure that Sunday School teacher meant well. But did she really
understand the love of Christ? Had she studied and accepted the teachings
found in the second chapter of James?
What if she had put her arms around the dirty, ragged little boy and
said, "Son, I am so glad you are here, and I hope you will come every
chance you get to hear more about Jesus."
I reflected on the awesome responsibility a teacher or pastor or a parent
has to welcome little ones in His name. How far reaching her influence
I prayed that I might be ever open to the tenderness of a child's heart,
and that I might never fail to see beyond the appearance and behavior of a
child to the eternal possibilities within.
Yes, I saw him in the church house for the first time on Wednesday. As I
looked at that immaculately dressed old gentleman lying in his casket, I
thought of the little boy of long ago. I could almost hear him say, "No,
ma'am, I won't ever."
And I wept.
We may never know how many lives we have influenced to come to know the
Lord, but in the opposite outlook; we may never know the number of lives
that we turned away from Christ because of our quick judgmental attitude.
I want you to remember this story the next time you are tempted to make a
quick judgment about someone else because of the way they look or act and
know that their eternal destination may be affected by the way that you
Read and meditate on these scriptures:
Matthew 7:1-4 Jesus said
"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?"
Mark 10:13-16 "Then they brought little children to Him, that He might
touch them; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them. But when
Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them,
"Let the little
children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of
God. "Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God
as a little child will by no means enter it." And He took them up in His
arms, put His hands on them, and blessed them."
1 John 4:7-11 "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and
everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does
not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested
toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we
might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that
He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved,
if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another."
I encouraged you to also read all of James chapter 2, where James explains
how we are to treat one another and not look at the physical aspects of life.
All scriptures can be found in the New King James Version.
Remember: Our lives are the only Bible some people will ever read, so make
sure yours makes the right impact on others.
In Christ Service,
Gods Work Ministry