“Do not judge and you will not be judged. Do not condemn and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven.” (Luke 6:37)
I hired Wednesday, a young lady in our village, to walk to the market, a two-hour hike, to buy my groceries. I gave her $20 and the grocery list. After reading it, she asked questions. I explained every item at least three times. An hour later after additional explanations, I began to lose my patience with her.
I thought, “No wonder this poor lady only went as far as the fourth grade.”
Wednesday left and returned eight hours later with the groceries. “I did not buy the lemons because they were too expensive for you, and you could not afford them. I hope you are not upset.”
“She was not smart enough to buy my groceries.” I judged her. “How much did the lemons cost?”
“Five lemons costs 50 cents and that is too expensive for you. You cannot afford that.” She handed me the detailed list of the items and amounts she spent. Her addition was perfect. She handed me my change of $2.40. I thought the poor girl couldn’t subtract .50 from the $2.40, but I kept silent. I wanted those lemons to make a pie.
I thanked her for her hard work and sent her home believing she didn’t have the intelligence to buy groceries. I’d find someone else to do for the job.
Two days later she arrived at my house with a plastic bag containing 13 lemons. “We have a lemon tree in our back yard and these lemons are free. You could not afford to buy five lemons for 50 cents when I can give you these as a free gift.”
I tried to suppress my tears for I was ashamed of myself for passing judgement on her, deciding she wasn’t smart. She had my best interests at heart and loved me more than I loved her, and I felt guilty. She had saved me a half a day’s wages.
Judging others may be part of our old sinful nature, but we can repent of this and do the right thing.
In this situation, it would have been a mistake to confess to her, “I thought you were very stupid.” Those negative words would have stuck with her because folks in the village already thought this of her.
Instead I made the situation right by,
1. Giving her the jobs of buying my groceries and washing the clothes. This honored her in the community proving I trusted her.
2. Saving extra money in an account for her. Every time she “saved” me money I put that amount in her fund, along with other “bonuses” for jobs well done. By the time she married, she had a large nest egg.
3. Never judging her again. If she didn’t buy the bread, she had a very good reason, like it was moldy.
Judge not that you be not judged. Luke 6:37
We can, with God’s help overcome our judgments and prejudices.
Thanks for joining me today.