A couple of weeks ago I came home from church to find my iPad had been eaten by my dog. The phrase, “my dog ate my homework,” had never been more real. As I called my dog Coco, rather irritated, he ran to me tail wagging and all excited. Not at all remorseful for the destroyed property. It had been a challenging week with several other unexpected events requiring me to use a good bit of savings. The iPad is necessary for me to work. I wanted to yell at Coco, “Ipad equals work, work equals money, money equals food,” you just destroyed your source of food!!!!!! Or course Coco did not understand such language, he was just glad I was home from church.
Coco destroyed a piece of my property. I rather important and expensive item. My instinct was to be angry, frustrated and judge his behavior. His behavior was wrong. No one can deny that his behavior was wrong. But the question is my response.
Do I respond by judging Coco, saying he is a bad dog and then punish him in a way that does nothing to help him learn a different way? Or do I recognize the behavior was wrong but it most likely came from a place where he was left alone when he has separation anxiety, he had no bone and who knows maybe the iPad was making noise. I don’t really know. I can judge Coco harshly accomplishing nothing or I can help him and love him in a way that means the next iPad is not destroyed and he has the needed love and care.
We as people judge. I will be the first to admit I struggle to judge others. It is often challenging to know where the line is between recognizing something that is not good and judging. When we judge we condemn. We do not facilitate healing or meaningful change. We do not help people grow in their relationship with Christ. Judging tears down while healing transforms, changes and rebuilds.
Judging is like looking at Coco and saying your a bad dog. Healing is looking at Coco and through prayer and love saying how can we prevent this from happening and help you succeed. Is your judging tearing down Gods kingdom? Or are you recognizing things that are not good and helping people to overcome thus building up Gods Kingdom?
“Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you ,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin .” John 8:1-11 NIV
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