(Jesus said) "Do not judge, or you too will be judged." Matthew 7:1
Most of us like to think of ourselves as being pretty normal individuals.
We try to obey the speeding laws and generally keep ourselves out of trouble. In contrast to the favorable opinion most of us have of ourselves, Clarence Darrow, the famous criminal lawyer, once said, "Everyone is a potential murderer." About himself, he admitted, "I have not killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction out of obituary notices."
To get satisfaction out of an obituary notice is a pretty sad commentary about a man.
Nevertheless, if I am being honest, I have to admit that I also get satisfaction.
No, there's no satisfaction in seeing someone die, but there have been numerous times when I've smiled to see some pompous or proud individual getting taken down a notch or two. I'm ashamed to say it, but there have been moments when I was pleased to see a know-it-all proven wrong.
It's a sad source of pleasure.
I'm not proud about it because, after all, there is probably any number of people who would get similar satisfaction in seeing me get some comeuppance.
Thankfully, the Lord is not one of those individuals.
God wants to see my name in the Book of Life, not on the pages of the dead. He wants me to live a beautiful and full life. To assure that becomes a reality, He has sent His Son to take my place under the Law, to carry my sins and defeat death.
All this He does for me. Not because I deserve it, but because He's God and He cares for His wandering, wayward children.
Now, because He has done that for me, I'm going to do my very best to be understanding of those whom I once looked upon with a judgmental eye. And if it's possible, I hope you do the same for me and everybody else you meet today.
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Father, thank You for writing our names in Your Book of Life. Please minimize our attitudes when they become overly judgmental and help us to share the Savior with those we meet. In His Name I pray it. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries