Jury Duty

Have you ever gotten a jury notice in the mail? Were you excited or did you think “oh man, this is not what I want to do”? Most people aren’t too keen on getting a jury duty notice, but it is our civic duty and we get paid. Have you ever volunteered to judge someone for free? Many people have, including me, but not in a courtroom.

When my daughter and son-in-law decided to speed up getting married the gossip mills were working overtime. There were many judges that pronounced them both guilty. Guilty of being pregnant out of the sanctity of marriage. Pregnant out of marriage. They were wrong. Anyone that knew, really knew, my daughter would never have said that. If they had thought with their hearts they would know why. Her fiancé was active in the Marines and just received word he would be deployed soon. Within three months they were married in a beautiful service.

The gossip about my daughter hurt me. Some of the people that asked me if she was “having a shotgun wedding” were close friends or family. My daughter kept her focus on the wedding, her sweet fiancé, and I’m sure the honeymoon. She just calmly said “well, they’ll see the truth in the months to come.”

How often do we, do I, reach a wrong, judgmental conclusion about someone? The world thinks one way and I get swept away with its worst case scenario negativism. It happens often. When my sister and her hubby were engaged they bought their first house. Gossips began circling to ask if they were going to live together before the wedding. No, they were not. She would still live at home until after they were married. They wanted to buy a house and not rent an apartment.

It is easy to jump to wrong conclusions about anyone, even people we know are good Christians. Judging and finding faults with others makes us feel better. “I never did that.” Or “I knew she wasn’t all that good.” We want to celebrate and share to others what we think is a fault or failure. What is the real fault here?

Judging has always happened and always will. I guess it is our nature. The Bible tells stories about it. It also says it is wrong. Don’t do it. We have a High Judge that died to pay for our sins. Let’s leave the judging to Jesus. The next time you are tempted, think of it as jury duty. If that doesn’t help, picture the person you are chatting with Jesus. That should stop the conversation. It does for me.

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” Luke 6:37

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