Friday, November 13, 2015
As children, and as adults, we are constantly reminded not to be quick to judge others. Be careful how you judge others lest you be judged yourself.
Do not judge others until you have stood in their shoes, and does one man truly even live in another man's shoes?
You must walk a mile in another man's shoes to begin to understand him.
And yet we judge...
More often than not we find out later that we made a huge mistake. There were factors that we were not aware of, that we could not be aware of. I am currently reading a book about a son seeking forgiveness from his father. The son is Israeli, the father Polish-Jewish. The son was angry at the father, he encouraged his mother to divorce his father.
The father was an angry man and sometimes out of control. The son never understood his father, until it was too late.
After the death of the father the son heard an interview with the father, in the Polish language. He did not understand Polish as he did not want to learn the language of his father.
When he was told the content of the interview it sent him on a long search. He soon discovered that not only was his father a real hero but his father had saved his mothers' life during the war. That is why the mother would never leave her husband.
The father had seen death and suffering, torture and betrayal. He was a tormented soul.
How quick we are to judge.
The son had no clue what ghosts were in his father's soul.
Again and again I am stunned and shocked by those who are quick to judge. They see a little, hear what they want, use their own limited understanding, and pass judgment.
Even if we could read another man's mind we still would not be able to judge.
A story is told of a man who begged the holy rabbis to give him the power to read minds. The request was granted. He said Mr. Cohen is bad, but Mr. Gold is good.
Why? Mr. Cohen's mind was filled with young girls while Mr. Gold's mind was filled with holy books, the Bible, the Talmud. Surely the man with the power to read minds now knew who was good and who was bad.
But he was wrong, he was dead wrong.
Mr. Cohen was worried about young single girls. He wanted to find them suitable husbands. All day he thought about "his" little girls, would Rachel be a good match for Solomon, would Sarah be a good match for Jacob?
His mind was pure and holy. But Mr. Gold was a compulsive gambler and was in debt. His profession was book binding. So he thought of the holy books that perhaps needed binding. For a good binding of a Bible he could get $50, for a binding of a prayer book he can get another $30. He was all about the money.
Even a mind-reader can be wrong. God teaches us be slow to anger and quick to forgive and....to be careful before you judge others, most likely you will wrong.