I was so mad at this driver on the road the other day. She was slow and moved into my lane and then back out again and then back in. I just needed her to get out of my way because I had places to go. I judged her, boy, did I judge her. And then I saw it. Her car was adorned with an out-of-state license plate. Clearly, she was unsure of her surroundings and where she was going.
Why was I so quick to hate on her and hope that she would just get out of my way? This woman did not wake up that day with the intent to annoy me or cause me to delay. In fact, she didn’t even know I existed. She was simply going about her way, trying to get where she needed to be in an unexplored part of our country. Haven’t I been in that place? The place where an unfamiliar city leaves me with no choice but to break a half dozen laws so I can arrive at my destination? Yep. Been there. And I’m going to go out on a limb here and say you have as well.
My pastor, Craig Groeschel, says, “we just others by their actions but we judge ourselves by our intentions.” Basically, we let ourselves off the hook while we keep the hook in someone else’s mouth.
It’s much easier for us to place a sharp, corrective eye on someone else than on our own soul. We are quick to pass judgment on another while we shower ourselves with mercy. We tend to excuse what we do all the while accusing someone else for what they do. It would be wise of us to give people the benefit of the doubt and assume the best instead of the worst.
Why do we do this? Why do we assume that someone else’s actions are detrimental while ours are completely innocent? Why are we so grace-filled with ourselves but justice-driven toward others?
As you go on with your day, don’t just let this way of thinking tweak the next few hours. Allow yourself to truly consider someone else’s path. May we show kindness and gentleness to others the way we want it shown to us.
If you want to assume something about others, assume the best.