I have a tendency to think people are judging me. Especially the person behind me in the grocery line as I buy groceries for eight children. I always imagine their impatience at having to wait with their one gallon of milk while my grocery receipt turns into a scroll!
Well, I learned a lesson about this kind of judging the other evening. There was a gentleman in line behind me with one gallon of milk and one loaf of bread. Unfortunately, I was already in the middle of my huge check-out or I would have had him go ahead of me. As my groceries piled high on the conveyor belt and I bagged them as fast as I could, I pictured the impatience behind what looked like a gruff exterior. Imagine my surprise as he started to walk away after making his purchase, then turning back he said to me, “I don’t mean to freak you out, but are you going to be okay getting all that to your car?” I thanked him and assured him I would be okay and would ask an employee for help if I needed it. Inside though I felt bad.
First, I realized I had completely misjudged this person. I had looked only on the outside and made an assumption. Second, obviously I really need to stop worrying so much about what other people are thinking! I probably waste a lot of time and energy misreading situations and guessing what others are thinking.
Isn’t it interesting how many ways there are to judge others or ourselves and get everything completely wrong? I guess that is why David in the Bible asked God to search his heart to see if there was any offensive way in him. I find myself needing to ask God to do this quite frequently!
Humbling as they are, I am so glad that God gives me these glimpses every now and then to help me think in a better way, to take that log out of my own eye so I can learn to see myself and others clearly.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24