“How could that person be so out of it that he doesn’t realize his headlights aren’t on?” I wondered out loud.
I was driving down a street near my home on a recent evening when I noticed a car coming toward me with no lights on.
That’s dangerous.” Once again I spoke my thoughts out.
Here we’re on a narrow road with no shouders, minimal street lights, and ditches on each side of the road…
I made a move to flash my lights at the driver when I noticed something disturbing.
My headlights weren’t on either.
The car I was driving that evening was a rental car since mine was being repaired. Since it was a 2014, I assumed that it had automatic lights like our newer car. I quickly turned on my lights just as my fellow negligent driver turned down a side street.
The question now was, How did I not notice my lights weren’t on? I had been out since before dark, and I was on familiar roads. I’m sure the other driver also had his reasons or excuses.
That incident humbled me and made me think of my spiritual life–exspecially since light and being in the dark was involved. I realized again how easily I can slip into a haughty, “I’m doing things right; what’s wrong with these other people?” attitude.That’s when I’m busy focusing on their faults and failings so that I stop noticing mine.
I recall that not too long ago I got upset that my husband yelled at my granddaughter over what seemed like something petty. My attitude was, I would never be that harsh with her.
Later that day, I gave my granddaughter an instruction, and she defiantly ignored me even after I repeated it. I responded in a louder, harsher way than my husband had earlier.
I thought of two verses as I contemplated what had happened,
Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18 NIV
Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. 1 Corinthians 10:12 NKJV
Another verse that spoke of judging was Romans 2:1:
…at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning youself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. NIV
I’m praying once again that God will continue to reprimand me and give me a gentler, more merciful view toward everyone in my life.
Reading a section of Psalm 139 has repeatedly been a reminder to deal with the issues in my own life instead of judging and trying to fix them in the lives of those around me. These verses came to my mind again lately.
David writes in Psalm 139:19-22:
If only you would slay the wicked, O God!…They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name. Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD, and abhor those who rise up again you? I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them as enemies.
David was focused on wicked people around him—people not living life God’s way. Instead of praying for them, David is asking God to slay them and giving in to hate. Oh, how easy it is to go there.
But then something happens to David between verse 22 & 23. He changes his focus:
Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting (23-24—emphasis mine).
I want to live life God’s way. Instead of judging others when they don’t and giving in to pride, I can allow the light of Jesus to flow to me and through me. We are all sinners in need of a Savior. To stay humble all I have to do is remember what I was like before I knew the Lord. That brings me back to the place of humility and mercy.
Here is a link to a song that speaks of how Jesus sees people who are doing wrong things. It is “Jesus, Friend of Sinners” by Casting Crowns.