From the 75 seconds of watching Judge Judy I had already decided who was guilty and yet I hadn't even heard any of the real evidence.
Reference: v.18a The judges must make a thorough investigation
Explore: The other day I was watching the TV whilst eating lunch. When I flicked over the channel I noticed that Judge Judy was on. This is a TV show set in a court room where we witness Judy Sheindlin arbitrating over small claims cases. On this particular day Judge Judy was in the middle of a case trying to discern exactly what had happened in a fight between two women. The plaintiff kept telling the court about statements the defendant had said about her to other people, interactions between the defendant and her boyfriend, and how she suspected the defendant had damaged her car three months ago (although there were no witnesses and she had no proof of this). Judge Judy kept stopping her and saying, "I don't care about those things, tell me about this fight." The plaintiff was trying to give Judge Judy the bigger picture, however the accusation levelled at the defendant was not about gossip or back stabbing or car damage. The plaintiff was accusing the defendant of hurting her in an unprovoked fight and that is all that Judge Judy wanted to hear about. Luckily I had the power to change the channel but poor Judge Judy had to stick around to try to get to the bottom of the situation.
Application: Besides the fact that I don't have a legal degree, there is very little chance that I would become a judge. It can be rather difficult to get to the truth of a situation sometimes. We all bring our own agendas, feelings and suspicions with us so it's almost impossible not to be biased. Even from the 75 seconds of watching Judge Judy I had already decided who was guilty and yet I hadn't even heard any of the real evidence. We can be very quick to judge other people, even before we understand who they are and where they have come from. While the legal professionals base their jobs around judgments I think our everyday lives would be better off if we limited the judgments we made. We need to stop judging our neighbours by the raised voices we hear over the fence; we need to stop judging parents by how their children behave in public; we need to stop judging colleagues by how much they earn. Let's leave the judgments to the courtrooms and to our God, the only One who understands the whole story.
Prayer: Lord, I find myself judging other people so quickly and so harshly. And yet I know that we have all sinned and fall short of your glory. As You have loved me, may I extend that love to all other people. Amen.
Is there someone who you have judged harshly that needs a second chance?
This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.