We can be very quick to judge the book by the cover and most time the look can be deceiving
I remember the story of a sinful woman with a alabaster jar of perfume in the bible. When this woman learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisees, she brought the alabaster jar of perfume and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears, then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them. Can you imagine how much tears would have been enough to clean Jesus feet? I am not talking about size 4 ladies feet, we are talking about a man’s feet here and in those times everywhere it’s dusty and it’s essential and part of their hospitality to clean visitors feet. When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this he said to himself ” If this man were a prophet he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is” does that sound familiar? Put yourself in that house that day. How will you react? You can’t see this woman’s heart that is desperate for acceptance and love but Jesus sees the heart. Do you know what it would have cost this woman to show up at the dinner? She knows everyone sees her as a sinner and she can be thrown out of the house. Against all odds, this woman makes a decision to humiliate herself and swallow her pride to see Jesus. She knows this is her one time opportunity to be forgiven. Is it not sad that a sinful woman knows the right thing to do and the righteous Pharisee cannot even display basic hospitality because of familiarity. Jesus knows what the host was thinking so he asked him some simple questions to allow him to see himself, when Jesus asks you a question, it’s not for him, it’s for you to see yourself. Jesus asked the host ” if two men owned to a certain money lender. One owed him five hundred denarii and the other fifty and he cancelled the debts of both. Now which one of them will love him more? When the host answered jesus that the one who had the bigger debt cancelled. I am sure at that point he began to see himself. Jesus rebuked him for failing in his responsibility as a host. He did not give water to Jesus to clean his feet and this sinful woman bathed his feet with her tears and perfume. We can get too comfortable and complacent when we are saved and someone like this sinful woman who has never experienced true love and acceptance will appreciate the love of christ more than someone who think he or she is perfect.
This woman slept with men for money, they treat her anyhow and deep inside of her she just wants to be loved. I know she must have heard about Jesus and she is not about to let any hypocrite stop her from receiving the love she desperately needed. Jesus came to save the Sinner not the self righteous. It is so easy to judge people without knowing their story. I have heard so many true stories where the economy and puberty turned people into who they are not and how their future were shattered. There are many young girls in prostitution because of puberty, economic crisis and selfish leaders. I have seen many talented and smart girls turned to prostitution to survive. This is heartbreaking and we as Christians are busy being judge and Jury and not showing them love and a way out of their situation. We often responded like the Pharisees. We think we have the whole picture when, in reality, we have misjudged another’s motives and actions and we haven’t taken the smallest steps toward seeing ourselves as we really are. It’s so easy to forget where and how we were saved and we then look down on other people that are not yet saved. It’s only by grace we are saved, it’s not by our human endeavour
Don’t be too quick to judge others assumption is a sin.
Do you remember the story of an adulterous woman in the bible ( John 8 vs 1-11)This woman was about to be stoned to death and Jesus rescued her? Do you ever wonder why Jesus was writing on the floor while they are all busy putting this woman down forgetting they all have skeletons in their wardrobe. Jesus said to them that the person that has never sinned in his entire life should cast the first stone , well it doesn’t take time before everyone left. Maybe Jesus was writing everyones sin on the ground and as soon as each person sees their own secret they quietly left. When you are busy pointing finger at someone, the rest of the fingers is pointing back at you. This story clearly shows us that Jesus is not interested in our backchatting and accusation against our brethren. We are to pray for one another. You don’t know what tomorrow holds for you. The Bible clearly says we will reap what we have sowed. People often argue over a minor disagreement, leaving the real issues untouched. Maybe most of these men accusing this woman of adultery might be secretly wishing they can sleep with her. People often have a hidden agenda when you are constantly pointing finger at someone, maybe you need to check your heart and your real motives. I always ask this question, what happens to the man she slept with? It takes two to tangles. Our roles is to show forgiveness and compassion.
When Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses because of his Cushite wife. The real issue was not the woman, they are secretly jealous of Moses’s position and influence. They could not find fault with the way Moses was leading the people so they decided to criticize his lifestyle. You can detect jealousy when they say’ Has the Lord spoken only through Moses? Hasn’t he also spoken through us? The Bible says God was not pleased about this. We have to be careful how we criticise people especially the true servant of God. They are not perfect but we need to be careful not to familiarise ourselves to people that are spiritually over us. This story is a very clear example of the consequences of such behaviour. Moses did not have to do anything. God deals with them, even Moses pleaded with God to forgive them but God said No. You know the scary part of this story is that they are family. It’s almost like a sibling fight. Mariam was the sister looking out for his little brother when he was put in a basket and on the water so he will not be killed. She is the one who saw pharaoh’s daughter and quickly suggested a nurse for the baby and she ran to call the mother( Exodus 2 vs 1-10) Mariam quick thinking allowed Moses to be raised by his own mother. There was no question that she loves her little brother but she overstepped her boundaries. So this is clearly a case of jealousy or needs to control Moses. The Bible did not tell us if Moses speaks to them about her choice of a wife. Mariam and Aaron could not see their little brother as a great leader and obviously old enough to make his own decision and they allow the jealousy to take the best of them. You know this can happen to the best of us. We can forget our sibling is a servant of God. The moral of this story is that we need to not cross the line with our sibling when you know they are a true servant of God even if they are your youngest, might even be your best friend. When you show respect to them you are respecting the anointing of God over their life. This also applies to the way we talk and criticise our spiritual leader. They are not the best, but God put you in their lives for a reason. When you are in a disagreement, stop and ask yourself if you are arguing over the real issue or if you have introduced a smokescreen by attacking someone’s character like Mariam. With Moses married, Mariam was clearly no longer the most important woman in his life. ( Numbers 12 vs 1-end.
Before criticising someone else, we need to pause long enough to discover our own motives. Failing to do this can bring disastrous results. What is often labelled constructive criticism may actually be destructive jealousy since the easiest way to raise our own status is to bring someone else down? Maybe the critical finger you point needs to be pointed first towards yourself. May God help us all.
A word is enough for the wise