First, let me make this disclaimer. I’m not sure where this saying came from but my dog does NOT have fleas! And, I super love my dog. She is the only child in this house allowed to go anywhere she wants with no questions asked including our office and bedroom. But I think the title is catchy so I stole it hehe. Ok, with that said ….
Is it okay to evaluate or “judge” others? Ever? For any purpose?
After recently reading the Facebook rants a mile long about “not judging others”, hubby and I had a long talk about judging. And, I’m going to be real honest here for a minute. I judge others. Now, stone me if you desire, but I do believe God’s grace is sufficient to cover this sin of mine. When I see the mug shots of these people who have dismembered people, raped and murdered children, blew up the Oklahoma City building, ate a man’s face off, or ran a plane through the twin towers, I admit I do have some pretty judgmental thoughts and maybe even a little hate in my heart. Honestly, my first thought is not “forgive them for they know not what they do”. It’s more like “get em God”. Then, God and I have to have a little talk about how much I hate evil and He has to bring on His peace that passes all understanding because I sure don’t understand everything in this earth. And if your loved one was a victim of a painful or deadly crime, I bet you’d have a few hate issues to deal with too. The reality is that this is a struggle most of us deal with.
When I really get down to the nitty gritty (another Texan term), I find that I evaluate LOTS of people. Part of that is that Oprah journalist nature in me. Another part is for protection. For example, that teenage boy who wants to take my daughter out. Ha! Or that girl that just messaged my son on Facebook. Oh yeah, I can evaluate really quickly at times and under a microscope with parental laser beams. Heck, I can evaluate my own kids like nobody’s business. If you don’t see them for a month or two, I’ve probably been evaluating them so closely they’ll be home with me for a while. My kids hate this prayer, but I always pray they will get caught in their sin and that the Holy Spirit will bring their actions to light. I’d rather have sin exposed all day so it can be dealt with than allow it to live in a dark secretive place that only gives power to the enemy then causes us to build lie upon lie. Been there and done that and hate it now.
I don’t know about you. But I can look back at some of my worst mistakes, habits, and the regretful times of my life, and seldom was I alone in my wrongdoings. Now, I’m not blaming the other person for my wrong choices, but we did have a negative chemistry and certainly didn’t bring out “the best” in each other. And guess what else, they are no longer in my life though I fought hard for those friendships. What a dork I was! For example, I dated one guy for quite some time and just found that I did really stupid things with him. Something about us “together” was just a bad energy. We were both decent people (that’s the rumor anyway). So, I finally likened it to this.
All people are a beverage. For example, I LOVE orange juice so I’ll be that. And I also love a fizzy Diet Dr Pepper every now and then. So let’s say the guy I was dating was Diet DP. Both beverages alone on their own are good. Really good. I like them both a lot. But together – orange juice and Diet DP – BLAH. Nasty! So, we called it quits by agreement and I later met club soda who goes PERFECTLY in orange juice especially at brunch in a nice wine glass. Not only was he the perfect complement to my own flavor, together we were BETTER than we were on our own. And I sure made his club soda taste sweet too. That reminds me of Ecclesiastes 4:9 “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.” Of course, that depends on who the other ONE is in your life now doesn’t it?
The Bible (which I call the roadmap to a successful life) gives us instructions on evaluating others. Sidebar – one day my teenager was annoyed with me for making him/her read the bible, write versus, etc in response to choices he/she had made. Here was my response – spoken gently – but matter of factly: you may or may not really believe in God, or Jesus, or the Bible , but the Bible is a map. A map that shows us the CORRECT way to engage in all of our future travels. Now, a lot of people in the Bible did not follow the path, the way, the instructions that they were given and that too is recorded in the book as well. But the instructions that were given WERE perfect and the plan would have worked if they had obeyed it. Like a treasure map, if you don’t take the time to learn the symbols and the meanings, you will never find the treasure that’s buried there just waiting for you.
Now back to the fabulous roadmap, here are some of the instructions that we have been given to evaluate the people we allow closely in our lives:
“Bad company corrupts good character.” 1 Corinthians 15:33. “Don’t befriend angry people or associate with hot-tempered people or you will learn to be like them and endanger your soul.” Proverbs 22:24-25. “Dear children, don’t let anyone deceive you about this: When people do what is right, it shows that they are righteous, even as Christ is righteous. But when people keep on sinning, it shows that they belong to the devil, who has been sinning since the beginning. But the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil.” 1 John 3:7-8. “A gossip goes around telling secrets, so don’t hang around with chatterers” Proverbs 20:19. “Don’t waste your breath on fools, for they will despise the wisest advice”. Proverbs 23:9. “For fools speak foolishness and make evil plans. They practice ungodliness and spread false teachings about the LORD….” Isaiah 32:6. “Putting confidence in an unreliable person in times of trouble is like chewing with a broken tooth or walking on a lame foot.” Proverbs 25:19. “Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?” Matt 7:15-17. “These people are false apostles. They are deceitful workers who disguise themselves as apostles of Christ. But I am not surprised! Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no wonder that his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness.” 2 Corin 11:13-15.
When I met my husband, I told him that I do not evaluate people by what they say but by what they DO. Actions speak louder than words. I don’t know about you, but I take these instructions to mean that we are to carefully evaluate the behavior (fruit) of others and carefully and prayerfully go from there. Have questions about a relationship? Look to the roadmap for guidance and instruction. It does have all the answers!
Enjoy the weekend everyone!