In one of my first jobs after school I worked in an office for a large company. Someone called Malcolm befriended me and I listened to him because he was older. Malcolm really disliked of one of our managers and encouraged me to do the same. I regret taking his opinions as truth because it led me to despise my manager. All the negative things I was fed became my view too. I came to think, like Malcolm, that my manager was arrogant, and power-crazed. I did not realise how wrong I was until it came to my last day in the job and there was the time to have a proper conversation with my manager. I was so surprised to find him to be the opposite of what Malcolm said, a warm, humble and a nice person. How wrong could I have been! I had judged and condemned him, and the reality was the total opposite of what I’d believed. I felt so bad about my attitude and the things I’d said behind his back. I vowed in future not to listen to what people tell me about others, but to take time to judge a person for myself in future.
The memory of my wrong attitude in that job reminds of one of the stories about Jesus. In Luke chapter 18 it reads: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. 3 And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’ “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’” And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly.”
The purpose of this story is to encourage us to pray and not give up but did you notice the way the judge is portrayed? He is mean, doesn’t listen and has no thought for other’s needs (a bit like what I thought my manager was like!). How many of us have been convinced God is distant or mean, or unfeeling, because of what we’ve been told or read? Have we taken the time to make up our own opinion based on what is said about God by Jesus?