Passing Judgement

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” – Proverbs 18:21
Do you know what I heard through a friend? There was a group of guys that went out one night. They were talking, eating, and drinking their share of wine. After a while, a few of them got into a fight in somebody’s garden and one even got arrested. That’s just the way I heard it, anyway.
How many of us engage in the rumor mill without thinking? How often do we jump to conclusions without knowing the full story? The answer is that too many of us do this kind of thing on a daily basis. Without all of the facts, if we are being honest with ourselves, we really don’t know the whole story of any situation.
The group of guys I’m referring to in the above story is Jesus and His disciples, of course, but do you see how a wonderful story can get twisted by just leaving out a few facts or putting a negative spin on it? None of the story I just told was untrue, but it was put forth in a negative light. Maybe that’s how I perceived the story or maybe I meant to convey the situation. Either way, what a difference between the story I told and what really occurred.
So much of our lives depend upon our perception of the world around us. Many things can skew our perception to events or make us take things in a poor way. Personal biases are something that shouldn’t be taken into account when you need to convey information. That being said, you should take great care in what you feel like you “need” to convey to people. Are you giving information for a right and just purpose or are you simply telling a story? A just purpose would be to tell someone that their normal route home from work may be detoured. A story or rumor would be degrading to a person or group.
Before speaking not just stories, but really anything, think about what you are saying first and who it may be affecting. What would Jesus do? He sometimes rebuked the Pharisees and others, but He never felt any ill will towards anyone. Not once did He ever speak to simply tear someone down, He always chastened the way a good parent would. He focused on the actions rather than the person and would have gladly taken in anyone who repented of their sins. He still does.
In short, be careful of your words, because they have the power to bless or the power to curse. You may hear things or even see videos on television about a situation, but don’t be too quick to pass judgment. There is only one judge and His name is Jesus Christ.
God’s blessings to you.