Posted on September 11, 2019 by America's Keswick in Victory Call
In a recent conversation about mandatory evacuations during Hurricane Dorian, my daughter and I were discussing people that choose to stay despite the mandatory evacuation orders and the predictions of the weather “experts.” Without much thought I made the comment that “people who stay despite the warnings, seem to think they know better than the experts, maybe it’s a matter of pride.”
I thought of news stories I heard of over the years of people who refused to leave their homes and either were stranded or died. Senseless injury or death. What motivates a person to ignore warnings to get out of harm’s way? Let me repeat, I spoke without giving it much thought.
Later in the day, I asked my daughter if any of their friends had stayed in Charleston during the impending storm. She said, “Most of them.” Gulp. I know several of her friends and their families. Somehow when I thought of the people that stayed as real people, people I actually knew, I saw the people that stayed quite differently. I was not critical or judgmental of them because they are real people to me.
What assumptions do we make about people or groups of people that we do not know? Are we quick to judge or criticize? I was. Do we make assumptions that may be inaccurate? Do we, in a sense, demonize people or groups of people simply because we don’t agree with their choices, decisions, or actions? When we do this, we are setting ourselves up as judge and jury and we are strictly warned against it. “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.“ Matthew 7: 1-2
Another verse that needs to weigh in here is: Galatians 5:14, “For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”
Whether it is people who chose to not evacuate an impending storm or people of different religions, races, political parties, customs or neighborhoods; anyone that is different than us or does not agree with us, first and foremost we are called to love them with the love and the power of Christ, not to judge or criticize. When we can put a name and face to people in the group, we are inclined to think differently about the group as a whole, for good or bad.
It helps for us to see even those we don’t know as real people.
Written By Diane Hunt: Diane Hunt serves on the board of America’s Keswick and provides ministry support from her home in North Carolina. She is also a biblical counselor and women’s event speaker. For more information about having Diane speak at your next event please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Think About This: If you judge people, you have no time to love them – Mother Teresa
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! – Psalm 139:17
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the doctrinal and theological views held by America’s Keswick.