“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven” (Luke 6:37).
Have you ever made a judgment about a person or situation only to discover how wrong you were in your assessment? Such was the case in a story told by Os Guinness in his book, The Call.
“Arthur F. Burns, the chairman of the United States Federal Reserve System and ambassador to West Germany, was a man of considerable gravity. Medium in height, distinguished, with wavy silver hair and his signature pipe, he was economic counselor to a number of presidents from Dwight D. Eisenhower to Ronald Reagan. When he spoke, his opinions carried weight and Washington listened.
Arthur Burns was also Jewish, so when he began attending an informational White House group for prayer and fellowship in the 1970s, he was accorded special respect. In fact, no one knew quite how to involve him in the group and, week after week when different people took turns to end the meeting in prayer, Burns was passed by-out of a mixture of respect and reticence.
One week, however, the group was led by a newcomer who did not know of Burns’ status. As the meeting ended, the newcomer turned to Arthur Burns and asked him to close the time with a prayer. Some of the old-timers glanced at each other in surprise and wondered what would happen. But without missing a beat, Burns reached out, held hands with others in the circle, and prayed this prayer: ‘Lord, I pray that you would bring Jews to know Jesus Christ. I pray that you would bring Muslims to know Jesus Christ. Finally, Lord, I pray that you would bring Christians to know Jesus Christ. Amen.’
Burn’s prayer has become legendary in Washington. Not only did he startle those present with refreshing directness, but he also underscored a point about ‘Christians’ and ‘Christianity’ that needs repeating regularly. It highlights another important aspect of the truth of calling: Calling reminds Christians ceaselessly that, far from having arrived, a Christian is someone who in this life is always on the road as ‘a follower of Christ’ and a follower of ‘the Way.'”*
Before you judge a situation, consider that your judgment might not be an accurate assessment of the situation.