There is a commercial on television now showing a group of well-dressed adults eating gummy bears acting very much like a group of kids sitting around a conference table in a well-appointed business setting. Have you seen it? It actually makes me cringe every time I see it because it is so nonsensical. Surely someone in the group would tell the others to pull themselves together! I realize the point of the commercial is that the candy brings out the inner child in everyone, however, after seeing it for the fifty-billionth time, I am so over it.
It does bring out a good point though. We are all very much like children when it comes to our inner emotions. Some things tickle our funny bone, other things send us into a rage rather quickly and would surprise those who don't see that side of us very often. When we see an unfamiliar side of someone or something that seems out of character, our first reaction is often to judge them rather harshly. The Word says that we are not to judge at all though. We are to be fruit inspectors, and we quickly forget that and the fact that our own walk is seldom without blemish. I know, I know..."OUCH!"
It can be helpful to cut people some much needed slack and recognize that they may be experiencing difficulty in the moment, or even for a season, and think about what we might need if we were in their position. We don't need all the details; God has those and can handle them much better than we could. We are simply called to walk in love as we are able. If you're not able, walk away. Don't judge, don't slander, don't add fuel to the fire by gossiping and calling it prayer and trying to determine what the "real" issue might be with a team of spirit-filled spies, I mean warriors.
We've all been in need and misunderstood. Remember what it felt like and purpose in your heart not to put another person through that type of pain when you have an opportunity to demonstrate grace. There is always an opportunity to demonstrate grace. Going through difficulty usually translates to others as coming across as difficult. The universal language is prayer. We can all speak it. Give it a shot next time you find yourself headed towards a judgement seat. The seat next to it is called a mercy seat and it's much more comfortable.