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Monday, November 17, 2008

Stories on Judging

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The next three post are for the young women that I teach.  Skip if you want as it will not have any personal stories. :)


“We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men.”
The word benevolent's roots are Latin, and it means “to wish someone well.”2 
To be benevolent is to be kind, well meaning, and charitable.   
There is Primary song that says, "Kindness begins with me."
 I remember a story I heard years ago.  A man was thinking about moving into a new town and he traveled to the town and asked a man sitting on his porch what the town was like.  The man asked the traveler what the last town he lived in was like.  The traveler said, "It was a town full of rude, inconsiderate people.  Where people only looked out for themselves and didn't think of others."  The man on the porch said, "You'll find this town is a lot like that."  Some time passed and another traveler asked the man on the porch the same question.  The man on the porch inquired about his previous town.  The second man responded that the people in his last town were kind, considerate, friendly and full of service."  The man on the porch said, "You'll find this town is a lot like that."  Kindness begins with me.
When we had only been married a few short years, we were asked to talk in church about marriage.  This was not a welcome task to me.  I didn't want to tell people who had been married so much longer than I had how to make a good marriage so I went to the experts.  That is when I found one of the best marriage articles I have ever read here is the link Changing me, Changing my marriage. Read it if you have time, but essentially he he gives numerous stories of how people changed themselves and as a result, their spouses changed too.  You have more influence than you think!
Another story that points out how we view others is often determined by our perception of them and not necessarily on reality is follows.  A young couple, Lisa and John, moved into a new neighborhood. One morning while they were eating breakfast, Lisa looked out the window and watched her next-door neighbor hanging out her wash.
“That laundry’s not clean!” Lisa exclaimed. “Our neighbor doesn’t know how to get clothes clean!”
John looked on but remained silent.
Every time her neighbor would hang her wash to dry, Lisa would make the same comments.
A few weeks later Lisa was surprised to glance out her window and see a nice, clean wash hanging in her neighbor’s yard. She said to her husband, “Look, John—she’s finally learned how to wash correctly! I wonder how she did it.”
John replied, “Well, dear, I have the answer for you. You’ll be interested to know that I got up early this morning and washed our windows!”
I’d like to share a few thoughts concerning how we view each other. Are we looking through a window which needs cleaning? Are we making judgments when we don’t have all the facts? What do we see when we look at others? What judgments do we make about them? And do we have the courage to act.
(Can't remember where I got this one either.)
Here is a play about the family Bible Story, the Good Samaritan.  
Narrator:  Our Savior taught us about and lived a benevolent life. Jesus loved all and He served all. Centering our lives on Jesus Christ will help us acquire this attribute of benevolence. For us to develop these same Christlike attributes, we must learn about the Savior and “follow in His ways.”4
From the parable of the good Samaritan we learn that we are to love all.
Lawyer:  “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?”
Jesus: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.”
Lawyer: “Who is my neighbour?”
Narrator: That was a very interesting question for the lawyer to ask, since the Jews had neighbors to the north, the Samaritans, whom they disliked so much that when they traveled from Jerusalem to Galilee, they would take the longer way through the Jordan Valley rather than travel through Samaria.
Jesus answered the lawyer’s question by telling the parable of the good Samaritan. According to the parable:
Jesus: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. …
“But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,
“And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
“And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.”
It must have taken great courage for that man to help the Samaritan.  Now days, people break the norm often, but in those days, that was acceptable.  I'm amazed at what kind of many the "Good Samaritan must have been to set aside the judging of those around him and to be focused on helping a fellow human, despite their differences and the social pressures.
One of my favorite scriptures from the Bible is in Matthew 7:1-5 It says, 
"Judge not, that ye be not judged.  For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.  And why beholdest thou the mote [speck]  that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?  Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye." 


None of us is perfect. I know of no one who would profess to be so. And yet for some reason, despite our own imperfections, we have a tendency to point out those of others. We make judgments concerning their actions or inactions.
When a woman was brought before the Savior and the people told him of her sins, he told them that whoever was without sin should cast the first stone.  No one threw a stone.  


There is really no way we can know the heart, the intentions, or the circumstances of someone who might say or do something we find reason to criticize. Thus the commandment: “Judge not.

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