PART OF THE VERY CHARACTER OF THE ETERNAL GOD IS JUSTICE AND
BUT BEFORE WE LOOK AT THAT SIDE OF THE NATURE OF GOD, WE NEED TO
GET OURSELVES IN THE RIGHT FRAME OF MIND. GOD CAN BE A PERFECT
JUDGE BECAUSE HE IS PERFECT AND HOLY AND RIGHTEOUS. WE ARE NOT
NOW PERFECT, HOLY, AND RIGHTEOUS; SO WE NEED TO BE IN THE RIGHT
MIND-SET ON THIS TOPIC OF JUDGMENT.
THE FOLLOWING WILL HELP US GET THE RIGHT ATTITUDE:
FROM THE BOOK "750 ENGAGING ILLUSTRATIONS"
At the turn of the century, the world's most distinguished
astronomer was certain there were canals on Mars. Sir Percival
Lowell, esteemed for his study of the solar system, had a
particular fascination with the Red Planet.
When he heard, in 1877, that an Italian astronomer had seen
straight lines crisscrossing the Martian surface, Lowell spent
the rest of his years squinting into the eyepiece of his giant
telescope in Arizona, mapping the channels and canals he saw. He
was convinced the canals were proof of intelligent life on Mars,
possibly an older but wiser race than humanity.
Lowell's observations gained wide acceptance. So eminent was he,
none dared contradict him.
Now, of course, things are different. Space probes have orbited
Mars and landed on its surface. The entire planet has been
mapped, and no one has seen a canal. How could Lowell have "seen"
so much that wasn't there?
Two possibilities: (1) he so wanted to see canals that he did,
over and over again, and (2) we know now that he suffered from a
rare eye disease that made him see the blood vessels in his own
eyes. The Martian "canals" he saw were nothing more than the
bulging veins of his eyeballs. Today the malady is known as
When Jesus warns that "in the same way you judge others, you will
be judged" and warns of seeing "the speck of sawdust" in
another's eye while missing the plank in our own (Matt.7:1-3),
could he not be referring to the spiritual equivalent of Lowell's
syndrome? Over and over, we "see" faults in others because we
don't want to believe anything better about them. And so often we
think we have a first-hand view of their shortcomings, when in
fact our vision is distorted by our own disease.
Criticism, Spiritual Perception
The following story appeared in the newsletter "Our America" -
Dodie Gadient, a schoolteacher for thirteen years, decided to
travel across America and see the sights she had taught about.
Traveling alone in a truck with camper in tow, she launched out.
One afternoon rounding a curve on I-5 near Sacramento in
rush-hour traffic, a water pump blew on her truck. She was tired,
exasperated, scared, and alone. In spite of the traffic jam she
caused, no one seemed interested in helping.
Leaning up against the trailer, she prayed, "Please God, send me
an angel ... preferably one with mechanical experience." Within
four minutes, a huge Harley drove up, ridden by an enormous man
sporting long, black hair, a beard, and tattooed arms. With an
incredible air of confidence, he jumped off and, without even
glancing at Dodie, went to work on the truck. Within another few
minutes, he flagged down a larger truck, attached a tow chain to
the frame of the disabled Chevy, and whisked the whole 56-foot
rig off the freeway onto a side street, where he calmly continued
to work on the water pump.
The intimidated schoolteacher was too dumbfounded to talk.
Especially when she read the paralyzing words on the back of his
leather jacket: "Hell's Angels-California." As he finished the
task, she finally got up the courage to say, "Thanks so much,"
and carry on a brief conversation.
Noticing her surprise at the whole ordeal, he looked her straight
in the eye and mumbled, "Don't judge a book by its cover. You may
not know who you're talking to." With that, he smiled, closed the
hood of the truck, and straddled his Harley. With a wave, he was
gone as fast as he had appeared.
Given half a chance, people often crawl out of the boxes into
which we've relegated them.
"In Your Health" Al Hinman writes:
A spotless kitchen may harbor as many bacteria as a less tidy
one, says a surprising new finding from the University of
Arizona, in Tucson. That's because the most germ-laden object in
a kitchen is often the sponge. Researchers tested sponges and
dishrags collected from five hundred kitchens across the U.S. and
found that as many as one out of five contained salmonella
bacteria. Almost two thirds had at least some other bacteria
that, when ingested, could make people ill.
Some attempts to cleanse can cause more harm than good. So it is
when a pharisaical attitude prevails. Condemnation,
self-righteousness, and judgmentalism are the salmonella of the
Condemnation, Conscience, Faultfinding Pharisaism,
Self-Righteousness Matt. 7:1-5; Rom. 14; Gal. 6:1
OKAY NOW IT'S TIME TO MOVE ON AND SEE HOW JUDGMENT/JUSTICE LOOKS
FROM A THEOLOGICAL STANCE.
To be continued