Sunday my husband was asked to give a lesson on Judging Others, he did such an incredible job, I thought that is what I would share with you tonight. Maybe I should let him write my blog, he has such a way with words...but it takes him a long time to write them so...guess you are still stuck with me!
Good night dear friends!
"My wife, Lynn, and I recently returned from a trip to Rexburg, Idaho where we attended the graduation ceremonies of our son and daughter-in-law from BYU-I. On the flight home I was reminded of a story:
The Cookie Thief
A woman was waiting at the airport one night,
With several long hours before her flight.
She hunted for a book in the airport shop,
Bought a bag of cookies and found a place to drop.
She was engrossed in her book, but happened to see,
That the man beside her, as bold as could be,
Grabbed a cookie or two from the bag between,
Which she tried to ignore to avoid a scene.
She read, munched cookie, and watched the clock,
As the gutsy “cookie thief” diminished her stock.
She was getting more irritated as the minutes ticked by,
Thinking, “If I wasn’t so nice, I’d blacken his eye!”
With each cookie she took, he took one too.
When only one was left, she wondered what he’d do.
With a smile on his face and a nervous laugh,
He took the last cookie and broke it in half.
He offered her half, and he ate the other.
She snatched it from him and thought, “Oh brother,
This guy has some nerve, and he’s also so rude,
Why, he didn’t even show any gratitude!”
She had never known when she had been so galled,
And sighed with relief when her flight was called.
She gathered her belongings and headed for the gate,
Refusing to look at the “thieving ingrate”.
She boarded the plane and sank in her seat,
Then sought her book, which was almost complete.
As she reached in her baggage, she gasped with surprise.
There were her bag of cookies in front of her eyes!
“If mine are here,” she moaned with despair,
“Then the others were his and he tried to share!”
Too late to apologize, she realized with grief,
That she was the rude one, the ingrate, the thief!!!
If you are as human as I, you often make judgments regarding a person’s character without full knowledge of the facts. This can, on occasion, lead to some incorrect assumptions about an individual and the way we interact with them.
The Savior, in responding to a lawyer’s question of “who is my neighbor” said:
“Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment”
Many times we label individuals according to our first impressions of them. A person who has their children doing tasks around the home that should be done by an adult may be someone who is suffering with a physical ailment and is in need of extra help. A young adult who is acting rebellious or angry against authority may be someone who is being abused. And a person who doesn’t believe in God, is angry all the time, distant, or has a hard time forming relationships may be someone who has lost a loved one and doesn’t know how to deal with that loss.
Each of us may encounter someone that is having problems that we know nothing about. As we encounter these individuals, we must remember to keep our hearts and minds open to what hardships they may be experiencing and not be the “cookie thief” who judges someone before you know all the facts.
Here is a description of someone you might judge. See if you can identify this individual.
He had a singular way of walking, which gave the impression that his long, gaunt frame needed oiling. He plodded forward in an awkward manner, hands hanging at his sides or folded behind his back. His step had no spring. He lifted his whole foot at once rather than lifting from the toes and then thrust the whole foot down on the ground rather than landing on his heal. His legs seemed to drag from the knees down, like those of a laborer going home after a hard day’s work. His features were not such “as belong to a handsome man.” In repose, his face was overspread with sadness. Yet, when Abraham Lincoln began to speak this expression of sorrow dropped from him instantly. His face lighted up with a winning smile, and where before there was a face leaden with sorrow now beheld keen intelligence, genuine kindness of heart, and the promise of true friendship. If his appearance seemed somewhat odd, what captivated admirers was “his winning manner, his ready good humor, and his unaffected kindness and gentleness.” Five minutes in his presence, and “you cease to think that he is either homely or awkward.
Everyone has a story. We should be reserved in our judgment of others. We may still, in all our human weaknesses, judge others but we should know the facts as much as we can. The Lord loves and cares for all of us. We need to be as caring and loving to our fellowman as he is to us." ~ Jeff Woodard May 29,2011
"We can never judge the lives of others, because each person knows only their own pain and renunciation. It's one thing to feel that you are on the right path, but it's another to think that yours is the only path." ~ Paul Coelho
"We judge others by their behavior. We judge ourselves by our intentions." ~ Ian Percy