Last Saturday I mentioned the Google Home Mini my son gave me for an early Mother's Day. I outlined how I had initially been quite disappointed with the machine due to its lack of ability to do the things I was asking it to do. I was sorely tempted to put the thing back in its box; but I didn't. Instead, I allowed my son to set it up on the counter, and I began learning what it IS good for. In so doing, I learned a powerful lesson: We cannot simply write people off because they can't do what we want them to do. Instead, we need to accept them for who they are and appreciate about them the things they can do.
It would seem, however, that there was another lesson my Home
Mini had to teach me...
You see, when I came so close to
throwing the thing out the nearest window, I was passing judgment on the
machine. I was declaring it totally worthless, when in reality, it is
actually quite useful for the things it is programmed to do. Especially
when I lose my phone! Am I also guilty of judging people as harshly as I
was judging that little machine?
You know what I mean. That lady
really did drive me off the road. She completely doesn't know
how to drive! How can the province of Ontario allow her to have a
drivers' license at all?
My mom's neighbour really did
call the police on my mom for feeding peanuts to the squirrels. Have you
ever heard of anything as hateful, controlling, un-neighbourly?
And my workplace did really cut funding to the excellent,
necessary programs I initiated and ran for over 15 years. They are
certainly and completely without heart!
But wait. Do we truly
see the "big" picture?
One of the things that frustrated me
about my little Home Mini was its inability to control my lights,
thermostat and alarm clock. After all, it was able to do that at my
son's house! What I didn't realize was that my son had some additional
equipment required to interface his lights, furnace, etc., with his Home
Mini. I do not have that equipment at my house, and in essence, I was
accusing my Home Mini of not being able to do something I simply didn't
have the proper equipment for it to do! I was judging the crazy machine
without all the facts!
And if I think about it, when I judge
others, I am doing exactly the same thing...
Take, for example,
that woman who nearly drove me off the road. What I didn't know was that
this mother's vision was completely clouded by tears as she drove to the
hospital to identify the body of her only son. She simply didn't see me.
Perhaps it really wasn't safe for her to drive in that state of
mind; however, the offense hardly dictated that she have her drivers'
license revoked. It certainly didn't merit the judgment I pass
And my mom's neighbour? What I didn't know is that her
daughter is deathly allergic to peanuts. The squirrels left traces of my
mom's peanuts on her porch, the little girl got into them and nearly
died. The neighbour's reaction, as harsh as it may have seemed, was
simply a "knee-jerk" reaction resulting from the motherly instinct to
protect her child. Sure, sending in the police instead of making an
effort to talk to my mom may seem unneighbourly, but it certainly didn't
merit the judgment I passed on her...
Then there was my
place of work. What I didn't know was that if they didn't find ways to
save money, hundreds of their employees, including perhaps myself, would
have soon found themselves without a job. Yes, the decision closed the
door to helping some of the people in the community; but it ensured that
a vast number of others would continue to receive the help they needed.
Did they merit the judgment I passed on them? Probably not...
The point is, when we judge, we usually do so without seeing the
full picture. Just like I judged my little Home-Mini as "useless" when I
actually didn't have the equipment she required to do what I was asking,
we condemn people without knowing where they are coming from. Perhaps it
is time to try to see thing from their perspective. Perhaps we need to
forgive them, even when we don't understand their actions. Perhaps we
need to love them, even when they do wrong. In so doing, we just may
learn to see the good in people, even in those who hurt us. Is it for
naught that the Scriptures teach us:
1. To not judge? "Do not
judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you
treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which
you will be judged." (Matt. 7:1 NLT).
2. To forgive? "Make
allowance for each other's faults, and forgive anyone who offends you.
Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others." (Col
3. And to love our enemies? "You have heard the law
that says, ‘Love your neighbor' and hate your enemy. But I say, love
your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be
acting as true children of your Father in heaven." (Matt 5:43-45
Hey, I think I found another excellent use for my Home
Mini! It makes a great object lesson on passing judgement!
Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author --
"Aboard God's Train -- A
Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet
Scriptural Nuggets, a
website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with
Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.
(To access the entire "The Home-Mini" mini-series, please click