Do you ever feel the quote, “Never judge someone based on a season” could be your own life advice? Or just something you have to remember to repeat to yourself when you feel called to point out another person’s behavior or decisions?
The kind of judgment that is based on what people might notice about you, simply by observing from the outside? A failed relationship. A lost job. Financial strains. Another relationship?
Do you ever judge someone for their behavior, their reactions, actions – their, season – without understanding what journey God asked them to walk through to reach where they are today? What trials they have faced? The courage necessary to get to the point of your judgment?
Do you skip the middle, and critique the end? And it’s not your fault, because you didn’t know. But it’s the kind of judging with preconceived thoughts without asking this person to share, to open up about the changes you’ve noticed. The kind of judgment that’s accusatory without asking deeper questions.
“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)
• One season David was a shepherd, the next season he was a king.
• One season Ruth was working in the field, the next season she was owning the same field.
• One season Mordecai was sitting outside the king’s palace, the next season he was inside the palace.
Do we judge the shepherd? The woman in the field? The man sitting outside the palace? Do we truly understand another person’s journey? Or how God was already working in them before, during, and after their season?
You’ve heard others say, “I remember this one season in my life when… glad I worked through that to get to where I am today.”
You see, very often, we don’t know what others face. Even they don’t understand it at the time. God is intertwined in every aspect of our lives. And, sometimes, all we can do is hang on. Sometimes we don’t even see or understand how God worked through us until days, weeks, years later.
“It makes sense now,” we find ourselves saying.
“When you accept the fact that sometimes seasons are dry and times are hard and that God is in control of both, you will discover a sense of divine refuge, because the hope then is in God and not in yourself.” – Charles R. Swindoll
We must remember as lives are in the midst of change, there is often a difficult season of adjustment, even panic and confusion. A season when things appear ‘off,’ or a person sounds tense, short, are withdrawn.
We’ve all been there. We need to remember that others are facing it, too. Every day.
Nothing makes me feel smaller than having preconceived ideas or judgments about someone, then learning what it took for them to get out of bed that morning. Or to leave the abusive marriage nobody knew anything about.
I’ve been called out before. I’m sure we all have at some point.
“The key to understanding Jesus’ teaching is to look at the condition of one’s own heart – we are to make proper judgments about right and wrong, but not out of pride or self-righteousness. We are not to take God’s place in judging. We are not to condemn others. However, we are to be discerning and act appropriately on truth.” – Compelling Truth
Let’s look deeper into someone’s life. Let us not judge. Let us know the truth – if it is granted to us. And then, like Jesus, let us love. Extend our heart, our hand. And remember that we don’t have the authority we think we do.