One thing I have struggled with through my years on Earth has been judging others too quickly, and most of the time for the negative. Judging a book by its cover has come easy for me, and in lots of cases, I have been incorrect and it’s made it hard for me to establish deeper relationship. This is something I have worked on, and I have found holding back on categorization of people has worked pretty well. However, I continue to grow in this area and earlier this week a Proverb was pointed out to me again, but in a totally different way from the way I have always read it. This new light brought out totally new meaning for me.
do not bring hastily to court, for what will you do in the end if your neighbor puts you to shame? Proverbs 25:8 (NIV)
In this bit of wisdom, I have always focused on ‘the bring to court’ part, emphasizing the encouragement to stay out of the court room and not bring suits against others. Then, I had this sentence structure shown to me this week.
Don’t jump to conclusions, there may be a perfectly good explanation for what you just saw. -Proverbs 25:8 (MSG)
Wow, that really changed the whole thing for me. and it even brings new meaning to the same verse written this way
Do not go out hastily to argue your case; Otherwise, what will you do in the end, When your neighbor humiliates you? (NASB)
The focus has changed from staying out of court to holding back on my position, until I really understand what is going on. That’s a pretty big lesson for me, and I am sure lots of you as well. And then the end becomes important as well, when you realize it has a lot to do with the relationship with the others involved. Pretty Cool!
Over the last few weeks, I keep finding myself right back in the sermon on the mount, so why should today be any different? Let me remind you of how similar this is to the teaching of that Christ guy when he says
Do not judge so that you will not be judged. 2 For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Matt 7
and it also seems to come full circle to his teaching on using the proper measuring spoon.
Why is that so simple to read, but so hard to put into practice?