by Lt. Colonel Mervyn Morelock (R) –
The other day my wife came home from shopping and related how puzzled and hurt she was at the actions of the driver of a car behind her who blew his horn, made an obscene gesture and shouted out the window at her. She was stopped in a turn lane and couldn’t make the turn into opposing traffic as fast as the rear driver thought she should, so she was subjected to a barrage of abuse. The immediate response of many is to yell back or blow your horn, but she didn’t. She was simply puzzled and a little hurt at the intensity of anger from the driver without an apparent reason. Today it’s called “road rage.”
Most of us have been the victims of “road rage” and we’ve reacted in various ways. But we rarely learn the real cause of the rage.
The angry driver may have just had an argument with the boss, or was late for an important appointment.
The Scriptures tell us: “For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (NIV) Matt 7:2
Quick and hasty judging is no new thing. Eli, in the book of Samuel judged Hannah, a lonely, heartbroken woman, who had come to the temple to pour out her soul to the Lord. In her pain and heavy heart, she wept bitterly and could barely utter a prayer. Eli, the priest, saw her lips tremble from a distance and promptly accused her of being drunk.
But when she explained her story, Eli no longer condemned her, but with a heart of compassion, blessed her in the name of Jehovah.
Our perceptions of others are often inaccurate because we have not bothered to try to learn the facts. We are quick to judge and reluctant to listen…or see through the eyes of Jesus.
Jesus didn’t look only on the outward appearance. The Scribes and Pharisees were dressed in rich vestments of the Temple, yet he called them white-washed tombs.
When he met the woman of Samaria, he saw a woman considered unworthy by the Jews and her own people, and Jesus gave her the water of life: “Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.” John 4:10 (KJV)
There are lost and unredeemed people all around us, but most of us never see them. Or if we do, it is with a feeling of pride and superiority, secretly saying to ourselves, “I’m glad I’m not like them.” Newspapers print mostly bad news because people want to hear about the worst in others. Paul Harvey tells of a newspaper that decided to print only good news. The paper went out of business in six months!
K.P. Yohannan, president of The Gospel for Asia writes, “We are quick to judge others because of our deep-seated pride. We don’t want to admit it, but we often secretly delight in their flaws and problems. Their failures give us something to talk about and at the same time look holy. In reality, our hearts are so wicked that we actually feel elevated when someone else falls! If we could see them with the eyes of Jesus, we would intercede with tears for their restoration.”
In our “Call to Prayer Points” we need to pray that we will begin to see ourselves, and others, through the eyes of Jesus. We need to pray that those with a case of “road rage,” will find the Way, the Truth and the Life in Jesus Christ.