Two recent examples highlight the importance of reserving judgment about others. Dianne Hoffmeyer recently shared her experience on the Internet of going to a coffee shop in Fort Gratiot, Michigan where she was ridiculed by two women about the looks of her hair and her weight. Apparently, neither of the women realized until after Dianne left the shop that she had paid for their coffee. Furthermore, they were unaware that Hoffmeyer had lost 177 pounds. Hoffmeyer later commented “I’d like to buy them another cup of coffee and talk to them and explain to them how it made me feel.”
Then, earlier today I learned that 21-year-old Justin Bieber, well-known celebrity vocalist from Canada who had become notorious for bad behavior, recently admitted publicly that he had made many poor choices in his life and that his number one goal in life now is to “live like Jesus.” In the same interview he stated that there is a big difference between being religious and having a personal relationship with Jesus. I’m aware, of course, that well-known personalities have made statements like this one—but proved to be insincere. Hopefully this is not true of Justin Bieber.
Regarding the first example—Dianne Hoffmeyer—I encourage you to pray that somehow her example of patience and generosity would convict the hearts and consciences of the two women. And regarding Justin Bieber, I encourage prayers on his behalf for protection from Satan and for a strong witness—especially to those of his generation.
The first example is a great illustration of the need to be cautious about first impressions. Once we understand a person’s past, we are likely to view them differently.
The second example should remind us that people can change—sometimes in dramatic fashion. And we can never know for certain how close another person is to repentance. In the case of the apostle Paul, all it took was a burning bush and heavenly voice! Furthermore, we should never overlook our own deficiencies and imperfections. As Principle #17, page 1295 in Matthew states: When we confront fellow believers because of sin in their lives, we are to make sure we have dealt properly with our own sin.