Well I did it again. I have written several devotions over the years concerning the danger of judging others. I try to teach my students to not judge others. I know the Bible teaches us to not judge. But, as hard as I have tried, I failed a couple nights ago. I spotted an older man sitting in a restaurant with a group of biker dudes. All of them were well into their 50's, complete with full leathers and grey hair. This one particular man had a long, grey-almost-white, ponytail. Looking at him, I thought to myself I sure hope I don't got through a mid-life crisis like he is apparently going through. He noticed me starring at him. I tried to turn my stare away from him before he saw it, but I was too late. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw him get up and walk over to my table. Uh-oh, this can't be good!
As he reached my table he said, "Hello there Allen". I turned and looked at him, then recognized who he was. He used to play on my softball team a few years ago. I absolutely did not recognize him. He sat down, and we began to talk. I could not believe how much he had changed. I always knew him to be a Christian. He always did wear a little beard, but he also kept his hair nice and trim. He looked like a 55-year old hippie! I guess he noticed me glancing at his hair so he told me why he had grown the long ponytail. He grew it because he wanted to donate it to the organization Locks of Love. Wow! Talk about being embarrassed. Here I was judging him because of the look of his hair, and all he was doing was donating it to some needy child. Not only did I judge whom I thought was a total stranger, I also continued to judge him even after I found out he was a friend of mine. When will I ever learn?
John 7:24 says, "Judge not according to appearance..."
Father, thank you for reminding me that I can still be very judgemental. Forgive me. Help us to search our hearts and rid our judgemental ways. In Jesus name, Amen.