speak of Thy testimonies before kings: and I was not ashamed. I meditated also on Thy commandments, which I loved exceedingly.
-- Ps. cxviii 46,47
|Tuesday, December 03, 2002
When was the last time you judged a person by his or her appearance? Surely, we have all done it at one time or another. Yet Isaiah prophesied that someone would come who would always evaluate people according to what is just, never according to mere appearances. Psalm 72 speaks about this same person: He would pursue justice. In his day, righteousness would flourish. He would have equal concern for the poor and the rich.
Only one person in all history has perfectly fulfilled this description: Jesus Christ. He loved everyone for who they were, not for what they appeared to be. He looked into their hearts, rather than at their clothing, and related to them on the basis of Gods love. We need to do the same.
How can we avoid misguided judgments or favoritism? How can we appreciate each person as God does and minister Gods love to all? True, we must seek God through prayer so that he will reveal his mind to us. But we must also act on what we already know to be true. Its only as we take action that our hearts can be transformed.
The process of change may be difficult. Yet if we focus our attention on the immense love that God has shown us, we will be better equipped to open our hearts to other people. Although our minds may quickly revert to judging people by their income or level of education or ethnic group, the Holy Spirit will help us gradually overcome our narrowness and teach us to deal fairly with other people.
Perhaps where you work, one person is a janitor while another is a highly paid executive. It would be easy to ignore the janitor and defer to the executive. Jesus, however, wants us to treat everyone with respect and consideration. Perhaps your children argue with each other, and its easy to assume that one child is always responsible for the problem. But Jesus would want you to listen carefully to each, rather than jumping to conclusions about their misbehavior.
No matter what the situation, Jesus invites us to become like him, guided by Gods justice and mercy and respect for every human person.
Lord Jesus, help me to be like you, not evaluating anyone out of prejudice but demonstrating Gods love and mercy to all.