Have you heard the saying that you can’t judge anyone until you walk a mile in their shoes? This is so true. Advice is so easily given and judgment quickly rendered on a situation others cannot totally understand. If they would wear my shoes for a day or even a few hours it would be apparent my shoes didn’t feel well at all. At times I cannot totally understand either and my own shoes hurt my feet.
My situation is different yet like so many others’. It is not one I chose. Not many people choose trials or struggles. Do I blame God for it? Absolutely not. He is the Righteous, Perfect One. Will He turn the bad in a situation for good. Every time. There are many like me and perhaps you’re one. Have you ever heard “Well, I know what I’d do if it was me”? Me, too. I hear that a lot. Ironically the majority of my critics and advisors aren’t devout Christians. If I am going to take counsel, it needs to be credible, Biblically based, and from someone who prays.
I have a lovely daughter with two sons. She taught elementary school and was in her element at a Christian school. When her second son was born, he had a multitude of health issues beginning with his brain, heart, kidney, digestive system, and going on and on. He has many three ring binders full of doctors, procedures, appointments, and anything needing documented. Isaac is the happiest boy I have ever known even though he cannot walk, eat, or talk. My daughter, son-in-law, and elder grandson shower Isaac with love and see to his every need, but still she gets judged. “I wouldn’t stay home if I had a teaching degree.” “I would not send him to therapy or school.”
Before passing judgment or offering unwanted advice, please put yourself in their places. Really put yourself in their day to day shoes. Seek Biblical counsel. Don’t steer them off track. Sometimes the best advice you can offer is none.
A friend that works with special needs children has one herself. Her sweet daughter has sensory issues with clothing and even shoes. Sure there are other things, too. Don’t all kids have issues with something? During a particularly stressful morning her daughter was melting down because she didn’t want to wear anything socks. It was an extremely cold day, and she couldn’t stand a heavy coat either. Dee decided it was more important to give in than let things escalate out of control so after warming her van she drove the kids to school. Later all over Facebook she read what a horrible mother she was. There were even requests for clothes donations. More judging without understanding. If they would just switch shoes with her for one day.
“Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” Matthew 7:1-2
That’s what Jesus says about judging. It’s hard to do, but we must show mercy and grace to those who unfairly judge our difficulties. They could try to walk in our shoes for a day, but they wouldn’t last. Our shoes would hurt their feet, but “we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength.” Our feet keep going because Jesus helps.