"Never Judge A Book By It's Movie!"
In fact in my new job, my role is to question everything that I see and make sure the situations brought to my attention are what they appear to be.
So the other night I'm reading the bible to my kids and I flip in their Kids: "Adventure Bible (Affiliate Link) to 2 Chronicles 19. It's about King Jehoshaphat. He is helping Israel return to God. He goes throughout the land and gets them to put down their idols and come back to the One True God.
Then he appoints judges throughout the land and gives them instructions on how to judge.
2 Chronicles 19:4-11 (New King James Version)4 So Jehoshaphat dwelt at Jerusalem; and he went out again among the people from Beersheba to the mountains of Ephraim, and brought them back to the Lord God of their fathers. 5 Then he set judges in the land throughout all the fortified cities of Judah, city by city, 6 and said to the judges, "Take heed to what you are doing, for you do not judge for man but for the Lord, who is with you in the judgment.
Then the kids bible has an excerpt where you the readers can practice "judging" a situation of your own. This became an interesting practice because for the most part we aren't dealing with clear cut situations.
The judgment is easy when things are cut and dry.
Hitler is bad, he needs to be stopped. Clear.
But what happens when situations are more nuanced?
Here are some examples of what they had use judge:
Kids Bible Example:
"Dylan took my toy out of my room", Caitlin says.
"Caitlin got the biggest piece of cake!", Dylan Complains.
Kids: "Adventure Bible, NIV" (Affiliate Link)
"Dylan Took My Toy..." sounds fairly clear cut.
"What should we tell Dylan?" I asked.
My kids answered in unison; "Give it back!!!"
What if Dylan didn't take her toy?
What if the toy was lost because she forgot where she put it and Dylan doesn't have it either.
What if Dylan was rightfully playing with it and Caitlin is complaining because she wants it back not because Dylan did anything wrong.
Who's right? What's the right answer? It takes more than a snap judgment, it takes leadership, listening to them, and listening to the Holy Spirit to see the right solution sometimes.
How do you judge the "Biggest Peice of Cake"?
My wife instituted a rule in our house that if anyone complains that someone else got the biggest "(X=whatever you are complaining about)", the complainer doesn't get any at all.
But maybe we could say "Hey! Isn't it a blessing that he/she got the biggest? Let's praise God for his/her blessing because when we praise God for what God does for others, he does the same for us later."
Now we are teaching them the power of a life of giving, instead of a "whine and take" mentality.
It is good and right to judge situations.
We hear so much about not "judging" someone, and there is some truth to that. But we are to judge situations and circumstances.
We must learn to judge right if we are to live happy and successful lives.
It's about "Responding" and not "Reacting". Reactions happen at a gut level, and are seldom good. Response takes thought, energy, and at least a few extra moments (if not days/weeks).
Reactions involve little forethought.
Responses require a thought and planning.
Here are four keys I learned as I reflected on this evening with the kids.
To see the right solution takes:
- Leadership: Seek the right answer, not the first one that comes to mind.
- Listening: Listen to both sides and ask questions to get the full picture.
- Lordship: Listen for the voice of the Holy Spirit before you act on this information. He may see things you don't see, He was in the room with them and you were not.
- Love: You must A) be motivated by love yourself and B) be teaching that love is to be the primary motivator in those you lead.
And now I leave you with a question:
What have you been reacting to that you could respond to instead?
To Respond: Leave a comment on this post
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