April 28

Live Unto the Lord

Romans 14:1—15:6

            KEY VERSE: Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way.

n     Romans 14:13


Far too many of us try to justify our judgments of others when we should be using our energy to make sure we are not putting a stumbling block in another’s way. Even the fellowship of believers cannot exist long unless we are willing to forgive and be forgiven, and offer others a second chance.

All of us have our blind spots. We are all quite capable of making the wrong judgment of others. We can easily rush to judgment when what appears to us to be true may not be the whole story.

Take for example the new pastor who slipped into a children’s Sunday School class to get to know a teacher and her boys and girls. Sitting in the back of the room he observed the teacher’s skill in teaching the children to sing. When they sang, “I raise my hands for Jesus,” the boys and girls raised their hands. When they sang, “I stand up for Jesus,” they stood up.

All that is except one little boy on the front row. He was clearly ignoring the teacher’s instructions. The pastor was bothered by the boy’s refusal to cooperate, so much that he almost decided to go to the front of the class and straighten the boy out. Somehow he resisted the impulse.

Later when he was getting acquainted with the teacher, he mentioned the boy and expressed his frustration that the child had not participated by raising his hands or standing as the others did.

The teacher said, “Oh, you mean Billy. You see, Billy had polio and he is paralyzed. He cannot move his arms or his legs.  His parents bring him to class every Sunday and he loves it. You should have seen how he was participating with his eyes!”

That story troubles me, for I have been that pastor more than once.

What about you?

While not all judgments are wrong, most of us can be better used by God as peacemakers than as fruit inspectors.