We've all been there. Someone does something that annoys us. Maybe it slows us down and makes us late for work. Maybe it's road rage. Maybe they spray poison on the plants we just purchased and planted. Maybe they jump the line. Maybe they shovel their snow onto the road, and the plow comes through and piles their snow at the end of our driveway. Can't people be more considerate of each other? Wouldn't that make the world a so much better place?
I got annoyed the other day. The
clutch in the rental car I was driving was going, and it was all we
could do to start up, especially on a hill. And that was quite a
problem, seeing as we were at the bottom of a steep, 6 km road, the only
way back to the main highway. With lots of prayer, however, we were
doing it. The engine was racing, I was riding the clutch, my son was
"pushing" my seat from his position in the back, and my husband's
knuckles were white, but we managed to slowly accelerate to the point
where I was finally able to shift into second gear. That's when the
pickup truck appeared in front of us...He was stopped, and I was forced
to slam on the brakes to keep from rear-ending him. Naturally, we were
still on a hill, and this time we almost didn't succeed in starting back
up. But we made it, and just as I was finally shifting into second, the
same pickup truck braked in front of us and it all started over again.
To say I was annoyed would be an understatement!
when a car came up behind me. He was obviously no pleased with my lack
of accelerating power, and he let me know with a 60 second blast on his
horn. I could do nothing. I couldn't even throw up my hands because I
was too busy trying to coax the car forward. "I'm sorry, but I'm doing
the best I can do!" I shouted. Not that he heard me; and even if he had,
there would have been no way for him to know that there was a valid
reason for my slowness...
Perhaps if he had known that my car
was about to break down completely, he would have had a bit more
patience with me...
As that pickup truck slowed down yet again in
front of me, the thought occurred to me that maybe he also had a valid
reason for his actions. There was no way for me to know; but perhaps my
annoyance with him was as ill-founded as the annoyance of the driver
It all made me think. As a general rule, people
don't go out of their way to annoy one another, and when they do, it's
generally because there is something bothering them, something that
there is no way for us to understand. Could it be that if we knew the
whole story, all of our annoyances would be for naught?
be that this is one reason the Bible tells us over and over again,
"Judge not" (Luke 6:37)?
A very wise person once said,
"Don't judge until you've walked a mile in his shoes." (Author: unknown)
Another wise person once said, "Do not pervert justice; do not
show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your
neighbor fairly." (Author: Moses – Lev. 19:15 NIV).
another very wise person once said, "There is only one Lawgiver and
Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you--who
are you to judge your neighbor?" (Author: James –
Jam. 4:12 NIV)
And perhaps the wisest One of all once said,
"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge
others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be
measured to you." (Author: Jesus – Matt. 7:1-2 NIV)
Remember this the next time you are tempted to be annoyed at someone.
Remember that perhaps you've never walked a mile in their shoes.
Remember that we are called to judge fairly, something we
cannot do unless we know where they are coming from. Remember that God
is the judge, not us, and who are we to judge our neighbour?
Remember that when we judge others unfairly, we will be judged in the
But mostly remember that in order to be able to judge
fairly, we need to know...the rest of the story,
something that only God knows!
Oh, and the next time you're
having clutch problems on a hill and someone comes up behind you heavy
on the horn, why not cut them a little slack? After all, they truly
don't know the rest of your story...
In His love,
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.