Jumping to conclusions

I have a friend who wanted to remain anonymous (let’s call her Girl A), who I have a bit of a friendly rivalry with. It may or may not have started when I removed her clothes from a tumble dryer to put mine in while hers were still slightly damp. (But I made that up by riding in a hot, air-condition-less bus for over half an hour to cover for her while she was feeling a bit unwell.)
Over the summer we worked together at Beaver Cross Camp, and one evening during dinner as I was sitting eating at a table with some of the guy campers she was walking past and pulled a face at me. I laughed at her, and the boy sitting beside to me saw it, turned to me and said with a smirk “Ah-ha, I saw that, not going to make any comment”. I turned to him and (truthfully) said “That’s good, because there is nothing to make any comments about.” Girl A saw me turn to speak to this boy after laughing at her, assumed given our rivalry and the reputation I had of making (light-heartedly) sarcastic comments that whatever I had said it was something unflattering about her, and came over to him and told him “Don’t believe whatever Pete just told you”. Oops!
Fortunately the boy forgot all about it and we didn’t have to spend the rest of the week denying rumours that we were together. (I imagine he figured it was too improbable that someone as awesome as me would lower themselves to go out with someone like her…{I’m just kidding by the way, I’m not that arrogant I promise!}). But it served as a good reminder of the importance of not jumping to conclusions. Girl A assumed I was saying something mean, and acted based on that assumption (and truth be told probably 90% of the time she would have been justified to do so…)
And I think we can easily be guilty of jumping to conclusions about people. We see the old man stumbling out of a bar in the middle of the afternoon and we rush to judge. We see those girls with the tummy bump and lack of ring on their finger and we rush to judge. We see the young guy walking down town with his hood up and we rush to judge. But Jesus has something to say about judging others.
Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.
“And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.”
Matthew 7:1-5
It is easy to make a judgement about people and treat them based on that – be it assuming that what they have said about you is mean, or be it more serious, like deciding they aren’t worthy of your time (and always remember that none of us were worthy of Jesus’ time when He came to die for us, but out of love He still came anyway). Jesus says don’t judge others, be more concerned about the problems and sin in your own life, get them sorted and then you’ll be better able to help others. So today, instead of jumping to conclusions about the people around you, come to them with an open mind and no preconceptions. Come aware of your own shortcomings. Come looking to help them, not judge them. But most importantly, come longing to shower them with the love of Christ.

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