I have just completed my notes for a presentation that will be given tonight to fellow Stephen Ministers. The subject is "How the Bible Tells Us to Make This World a Better Place." The difficult part was narrowing down the subject matter because the Bible is full of examples and guidance.
This past weekend I attended a writers convention in Wichita. It was extremely well run and there was an opportunity to meet many wonderful and talented people. The volunteers who had organized this did an exceptional job, but once again, I was reminded about judgment. The Bible has much to say about judgment and there are many admonishments about it. Avoiding it is one thing I will address in my presentation, and I will give you an example of what I experienced at later in this blog.
Every time I read a letter to the editor in our local paper, I cringe when someone tries to cite a Biblical passage to support his or her view. While some may be justified in what they say, I know of no one who has been converted because someone has judged and admonished them in a particular manner. In fact, it can sometimes have the opposite effect.
Corinthians 2:11 says "For who among men knows the thoughts of man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God." Personally, I'm very glad to leave judgment up to God, especially on more controversial matters. For the record, I'm not talking about obvious topics like murder and stealing.
Now to the matter of my experience this weekend. One of the volunteers was very stoic and I never saw her crack a smile. She didn't initiate any conversations, and quite frankly, she didn't look all that happy. She was definitely someone who most of us would choose to avoid.
I again encountered her in what we call a read-around, an opportunity for writers and poets to share their works with their peers. She read two poems and I did not have an opportunity to talk with her until the next day. I then made a point to do so.
I told this person that I truly enjoyed her poems, and was rewarded with one of the biggest smiles I've ever seen. From then on, she was friendly and talkative. She was, like many people, just an introvert.
I have been misjudged and I don't like it. But worse than that, I'd really not want to know how many times I've misjudged.