Thursday, February 16, 2017

"Placing Thoughts in Custody"

Leviticus 24.12 NIV

“They put him in custody until the will of the LORD should be made clear to them.”
It’s easy to judge. We must be warned against doing it, or we will fall easily into its practice, and then get the judgment we pass.

“Do not judge so that you will not be judged.
For in the way you judge, you will be judged”.
Jesus, Matthew 7.1-2a NASU

I was heading east in the right lane on Scholls Ferry Road when I noticed a Tri-Met bus parked at a bus stop. When I was adjacent to the bus, the driver pulled into traffic without warning. I was forced to swerve into the left lane to avoid sideswiping the bus. I became instantly angry and honked to vent my wrath. I assumed the bus driver saw me and did not care. I judged him as careless and negligent and called him a couple of bad words in the privacy of my car. I considered writing down his license plate number and making a report to TriMet (the Tri-County Metropolotin Transportation District of Orgeon).  

Instead, I took a deep breath and wrestled my anger under control. I decided to let the whole thing go. No harm done. I’ve made plenty of mistakes myself. I extended grace and tried forget the matter. That’s what “the Lord... made clear” to me after I had a little time to cool off and think clear-headedly.

When the son of an Israelite woman “blasphemed the Name with a curse,” the offender was brought to Moses. “They put him in custody until the will of the LORD should be made clear to them.” It was “made clear” and the matter was handled.

Judgment is a premature action of the heart. When I want to judge another person, I should try to capture that thought and place it in temporary custody “until the will of the LORD should be made clear”. The matter will be handled. God will bring justice to pass. Hasty, reactionary decisions based on hostile instinct will inevitably lead to regrettable actions that are hard to undo.

“…be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for
the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.”
James 1.19b-20 NASU

“…take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
2nd Corinthians 10.5c NIV

I should think the best about people. Any fool can make snap judgments. Placing judgmental thoughts “in custody until the will of the LORD should be made clear” is a discipline that can only benefit me and everyone around me.


ebooth said...

I am also quick to judge in a way that is not fair to others. Through his actions, my husband has taught me to assume the best of the other person and give him or her the benefit of the doubt. By assuming a "wrong-doing" was unintentional, it's easier to have mercy.

Dave's Bible Blog said...

So true! Thank you for commenting.