There was a time in my life when I was quick to judge others. If anyone was outspoken, had an outlandish or controversial point of view, or an opinion that was somewhat different from mine … I thought or said under my breath, “Idiot”.
I’m not proud of this egotistical and terrible behavior and have been working hard on taking that word out of my vocabulary. The other day I read something about James and John, two of Jesus’ disciples. It helped to give me another perspective on this behavior.
These were the guys who tried to talk Jesus into giving them the esteemed seats to the immediate right and left of His throne in Heaven. They were the same two guys who wanted Jesus to call down fire from heaven and destroy a village that wouldn’t give them a place to sleep. Their buddies called them “Idiots” … Jesus called them “Sons of Thunder.”
Jesus saw who they really were. They looked like crazy fisherman with impulsive, knee-jerk suggestions, and grandiose, me-centered viewpoints … they were actually “Sons of Thunder.” God has incredibly and purposefully created all of us with gifts, passions, and personalities that are unique. Frequently you’ll notice that others don’t wisely utilize how God designs them … but neither do you. You often squander the unique giftedness and wiring God initially gave you.
Maybe part of your design and purpose is to help others grow, and by judging them … calling them an idiot and blowing them off … you are the one being the idiot.
Today, as you encounter people who annoy you … see them as they really are. Look beyond the behavior and see the person God created. God must have you in their life for a reason. Think and pray about how you can be God’s instrument, serving them as a positive influence on their lenses and spiritual growth. Also, ask why has God brought this person, with these issues, into your life, right now. He didn’t make a mistake, so embrace it. Your decision, choose well.
O Father God, I come to You, my Lord, with a humble and thankful heart. I confess, Father, that I am too judgmental of others … too intolerant of opinions that differ from mine. I thank You, Lord, for Your Word that once again provides wisdom and guidance to improve my thinking and behavior, and ultimately, transform my heart. Help me see all people as You have made them. Help me see the potential “thunder” in those with an outspoken point of view. I pray in the name of the One whose ultimate humility empowers me, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James, to whom He (Jesus) gave the name Boanerges, that is, “Sons of Thunder”
And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came up to him and said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.” And when the ten heard it, they began to be indignant at James and John. And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”