Thursday, June 11, 2009

Hey, Wait a Minute! Don’t Judge Too Soon…

“How long until Jesus Christ gets back? He is the only man I know able to completely remove every form of injustice on the earth without creating new injustices” --Wayne Hollett.[1]
A runner during the Olympic 100 metre Final breaks too quickly, by a few hundredths of a second. He gets a warning. At the re-start he does it again, so keen is he to get the early ascendancy. But, to his dismay and also to his fans, he’s disqualified, and those four-plus years of preparation, and his career, are in tatters.

A closer-to-home example of jumping the gun is our own propensity for judgment.

The quote at top is fascinatingly blunt but truthful; it goes right to the heart of this issue. The moment we think ourselves all self-righteous, is the horrible moment that injustice gets a leg up and reigns.

Let’s combine that quote at top with another…

“Some people will never learn anything: for this reason, because they understand everything too soon” --Alexander Pope.
The key word in the above quote is ‘understand.’ People jumping the gun in life patently do not understand though they are fooled to think they do. The Church is famous for this, even, and especially in this day and age of instant media.[2]

Sure, there are biblical atrocities committed every day and these are what they oppose; ‘the what’ is not in question here. ‘The what’ is often infallibly biblical. It’s ‘the how’ of challenging the world in the face of moral decline that’s the issue here. For how can a true Christian fight ‘the good fight’ with his or her moral (and biblical) gloves off? Two wrongs don’t make it right, as the old cliché goes.

For instance, I see a Christian world at odds with President Obama and his methods for implementing homeland and foreign policy, and I think people are very quick to condemn vehemently when they’re perhaps not around all the facts--the context. Isn’t it funny (and sad) that the moment we choose a battle technique and commit to waging moral war is usually the same moment we give way to any future reason, and our once open mind and heart closes up suddenly. We’re suddenly entering ignorance and arrogance.

And this is a trick for the ‘young player’ in each one of us.

Let us not move too quickly from our starter’s blocks, and let us listen effectively for the starter’s orders, and the firing of his gun.

God sees to it that we do not advance without him in life. We think we’ve learned our lessons, and then he brings something across our bow that we hardly expected--we should have seen the possibility for it, yet we did not, and we do not at times.

Recovering from the breakdown of my first marriage was a classic example of this. I thought so many times, ‘I have ‘recovered’.’ Over and over again, I was brought back to things I’d merely skipped over. It took three years to truly get over it, and then finally... I ‘met’ my wife! As I think back now there’s more than a touch of irony there. For those three years I wasn’t ready to move on. It was ironically the moment I found myself able to live with being single the rest of my life that God knew I finally got the point.

God’s not in nearly the hurry we are, and in our departing prematurely from the necessary learning of life, he holds us back. He’d rather we languish a while... appropriately, considerately... pondering, and not missing the real thing. He seeks for us, the truth.

So, my friend... why the hurry? If you’re there, enjoy the hiatus.

And if we’re given to quick judgment let us also ask, ‘What vital fact(s) am I missing here?’ It’s no good being a purveyor of justice if we occasionally peddle injustice. God’s a wonder in surprising us about our own ignorance. He’s always prepared to gently remind us if we’ll listen.

Finally, an unwavering commitment to lifelong learning brings us to a place before Jesus’ feet. We can then gaze at him alone in awe. And there he gives us his entire kingdom because we have trusted him. Trust begets trust.

Copyright © 2009, S. J. Wickham. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
[1] Facebook status, 31 March 2009.
[2] Many people do not realise that when you take Christ out of the Church you’re left with men, or using more inclusive language, ‘humanity.’ It then ceases to be the Church. We can so easily quench the Spirit, and God’s Presence will depart the Church the moment he’s no longer welcome (and one way of doing this is exercising injustice). Some church leaders (by virtue of their self-righteous stands) I am sure do not understand how tenuous this is. God hates sin in the Christian as much as he hates it in the non-believer. And his judgment is inevitable if we persist. To the praise of God, he plays no favourites.

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