Not what it seems

“Judge not, that you be not judged.” Matthew 7:1   

Sven was riding the city bus to town. When he reached his stop, it looked like rain and without thinking he picked up the umbrella belonging to the man sitting next to him.

“Stop, thief,” Lars yelled. “Stop dat man. He took my umbrella.”

Sven apologized profusely. “I vas not thinking vhen I picked it up. I tought it vas my umbrella. I must haf left mine at home.”

Later in the day Sven saw a shop that had umbrellas on sale. It had been raining off and on, so he bought a large black one for himself. Then he thought, "I tink I vill surprise my Ingrid, Little Sven, Grandma and Grandpa vith new umbrellas." Picking out a bright pink one, a light blue one, a rose-colored, flowered one and a dark gray one, he made his purchases and walked to the bus stop. He sat down on the bench next to Lars who was also heading home. When Lars saw Sven with five umbrellas he pulled his own close. “Vell,” he said, "you didn't get mine dis morning, but it looks like you had a good day after dat."

Things aren't always what they seem. It's easy for us to judge others and their behavior, but God tells us not to judge. Many time things are altogether different from what they first seem.  Sometimes we look at other people and wonder, "Now why did they do that?" But, if we were in the same situation, we might make the same decisions. And, well, if we're honest with ourselves, we have to admit that many times we've come to conclusions about other people that aren't even close to the truth.

God doesn't call us to judge people. He calls us to love them. He wants us to protect each other, to support each other. And if we know someone who has strayed into wrong things, He wants us to care enough to help them get back on the right track.

Lord, all judgment belongs to You, and we're glad it does, because You are the only one who can get it right. Keep us faithful to You, always seeking our answers in Your word. Thank You for forgiving us when we make mistakes. Help us forgive each other — to give each other the benefit of the doubt — instead of judging. Bless and keep us for Jesus' sake, Amen

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