It’s really quite staggering, you know, how often we judge other people – how they look, their facial expressions, their body language, what they say, what they do. In fact, we judge others many times each day.

Think about it. You meet someone new. What’s your first read? How they look – and as brutal as this may sound, most people treat “attractive” people differently to those they perceive to be “unattractive”.

But even someone we may know pretty well … when they say something that we disagree with, what do we do? We judge them. We drop our presuppositions, our biases, on their head in brutal judgement of their perspective. And that, right there, is where conflict begins. So, what if we handled things differently?

Luke 6:37 Don’t judge others, and God will not judge you. Don’t condemn others, and you will not be condemned. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven.

What if we suspended our judgement? What if, rather than judging them, we forgave them? What if, in that moment, we allowed their humanity – with all its hopes and dreams, foibles and flaws (just like our own) – to demand of us the compassion that it deserves? How different would our relationships be then? How different would our world be then?

Conflict begins in that moment of judgement. Compassion begins when we suspend judgement. Conflict begins when we shut ourselves off from their humanity and treat them like an object to be manipulated. Love begins when we yearn to understand why they’re saying or doing what they are.

Don’t judge others, and God will not judge you. Don’t condemn others, and you will not be condemned. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven.

That’s God’s Word. Fresh … for you … today.

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