I have made a lot of wrong judgment calls in the past, and I do hope that I have learned my lesson! Matthew 7:1-5 “Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, and criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.
I remember a story that my dad used to tell us about the evil of jumping to the wrong conclusion and I am going to share it with you, just to remind us to be careful. It is said that in the Swiss mountains there was a man who was a landowner, an important man in the small mountain community. This man had a faithful companion that was with him everywhere he went, it was a great wolfhound named Gillert. The man had raised Gillert from the time he was a tiny pup that fit in the palm of his hand. Gillert was his hunting partner and they would stay in the woods for days at a time hunting and bringing home meat for the table. The man and his wife had a baby, a son, and he was so proud of him. An alarm was raised in the town that a rabid wolf was killing livestock and had even attacked humans, everyone was asked to be on the lookout for him. The hunter called out to Gillert thinking that the two of them could track this wolf and bring him down fast! He called but strangely Gillert didn’t show up! Finally, aggravated that Gillert was no where to be found, he took his dagger and his gun and went on the hunt for the wolf but had no luck, he came home disgusted, no Gillert and no wolf. He went into the house and down the hall into the nursery to check on his baby boy and found everything in the room was upside down, the open window had let in an intruder, the bloody sheets of the baby bed were on the floor by the over turned bed. “Oh my God,” he thought, “My baby is dead!” Still in shock he was startled as Gillert ran into the room and jumped up to greet him, his mighty paws landing on his chest…his mouth and nose were covered with blood! The man assumed that Gillert had killed his baby son and in anger he immediately drew his dagger and thrust it through the faithful dog’s heart, killing him. As the dog lay dying he was trying to lick his master’s hand. There was a noise, a whimper, the man turned around and picked up the crib where he saw his son, unharmed and reaching for him, next to his baby boy lay the bloody body of the wolf. Gillert had been in pursuit of this wolf when his master was calling for him, and finally followed him into the baby’s room where the hunt ended. When this man realized that he had killed the protector of his son, the very dog that had saved his life, his faithful companion, he wept bitterly, but too late.
Romans 2:1 Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.
As with any preacher or public figure’s family, our family has had so many judgments from people who had too much time on their hands and tongues that wouldn’t be quieted that it makes me a little touchy and that is wrong, I know that, but I also know that God is the judge of us all and He waits until after we die to do that!
My last word today would be to pray and look around in those bloody sheets before you judge who did the killing, and remember this, when you are pointing your finger at someone, there are three fingers pointing back at you!