Friday, March 1, 2013

A Lesson in Being Quick to Judge

"Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again." (Mathew 7:1-2) This was a lesson I decided to get out of my experience at the grocery store the other day. I learn many lessons there since that it where I do go there a lot. 
It had kind of been a long day. I got up with my usual 4:30 am alarm to go to my Crossfit class. I got a little frustrated during the WOD because I didn't do any of the movements really well. (Toes to Bar and Double Unders are not my friends right now) I came home to the kids and sent Charly off to school. Then, went to work where it had been an o.k. day but Carter was acting out a little bit and I kind of wanted to get angry at one of my coworkers that tried to interrupt my disciplining with whatever thoughts she had of her own. (Hello! I'm the mom and I'm right here talking to him already. Back off!) But of course I just smiled at her.
We left work and went to lunch. The kids begged for McDonald's on the drive home and I caved. But I just started this 21 day sugar detox. Ordering a salad with nothing on it while the kids eat their burgers and fries was not my idea of fun. Not to mention that Diet Dr. Pepper in the machine staring right at me! Today is day 3 of the detox and the side effects are beginning to set in. I am feeling a little grumpy but that could be PMS too. 
From McDonald's we headed to Costco which didn't turn out too bad but I'm beginning to feel the $$$$ pinch of eating all of this healthy stuff.  When we finished there, we made the stop at Hyvee. (I promise, telling you my whole day has a point to it.) It took a little longer than I would have liked there. The kids were obviously done shopping and Carter was everywhere bumping into people with his mini cart. (Seriously, why do they even have those? They are such a pain in the you know what for EVERYONE!) We made it through and finally got home only to realize that the baby was missing her pacifier and one for her shoes. New shoes that we just bought a couple weeks ago after losing one in a different store. Not about to just do that again.
I piled all the kids back in the car only this time we were on a time crunch to make it back home before Charly got off the bus. I immediately found the cart that we had used sitting on the walk outside the front door. I park the van there on the curb with my flashing lights and jump out. Yes, it is the fire lane, painted in red with no parking signs everywhere. The shoe wasn't in the cart so I lock the doors and tell the kids to stay put while I run right inside to the desk that's right inside the door. I luckily got the shoe back! It had made it and the binki had made it to the lost and found. Yay!
On my way back out the door this older gentleman is walking in. I'm pretty much running but we exchanged smiles and then he grabbed my arm. His smile disappeared and his face became angry. He then proceeded with this comment, "So you think that the No Parking signs apply to everyone but you do ya?" I didn't know what to say. All that came out was, "I'm sorry if you were inconvenienced but maybe if you knew what I was doing you would understand. I've got to get to my three littles." And I ran off. It didn't take much for him to let go. (After grabbing one of my "guns" he probably knew better not to mess with me too much. LOL!)
Needless to say, I got into my car and started to cry. I didn't understand how he could be so mean. How he could be so quick to treat me so rottenly? Surely he would not have done so had he been in my shoes all day. I started to get angry. Then those powerful words from the Savior popped in my mind. "Judge not, lest ye be judged." I can't be angry because who knows what his day was like. 
But then I realized that I too needed to remember how I felt right then. I needed to remember that the next time I felt like jumping to any kind of conclusion about anyone. I should consider what kind of day or life they may have had. Like my coworker earlier. She's only been working there about a month. Maybe she didn't know I was Carter's mom. Feeling angry at her right then might have been wrong. How many other times have I walked by someone and thought a nasty thought based on how things looked right there at that moment? How many times have I assumed something before I got to know the full story? 
No, I don't think that I am above the law and can park anywhere I want regardless of the signs. I know that fire lanes are important to have clear in any kind of emergency. But we all are given the liberty to choose. And in that instance, today I decided that breaking the law for that 45 seconds was going to be worth it for me. If I would have had to take a ticket or have my van damaged because I disobeyed the law, then those would have been consequences that I chose. Like any other choice, choosing to judge others too quickly has consequences. They will effect more than just you but it is you that it will effect the MOST. Because with that same kind of judgement that you gave that guy up the street or that girl at the mall, YOU will be judged. Is that where you want to be? Or would your prefer the same kind of judgement the ultimate Judge would give you? One of absolute empathy and compassion. 


Amber said...

What a great, profound post. It's so hard, but so important to remember not to judge.

Wes Little said...

oh how i could fill this whole page on how i feel like I have been taken advantage of lately, but in the big picture, my life is pretty good! We all judge!! Sometimes it is hard to put ourselves in someone elses shoes! You are amazing woman!! thanks for sharing! great reminder for us all!

justinehasleftthebuilding said...

This is really funny... I think that the last time I chose to read your blog, you had just blogged about something that was on my mind! I think God used this to help me too! Remind me to tell you about the interview that Tina and I did today and you'll see how the whole theme of "judge not" came into play today!!! Go Elise! You ROCK!