September 20, 2021

Consider Carefully

 Devotion for the Week...

Have you ever sat and read the comments on a social media post that was full of people vehemently defending their views, while attacking anyone who happened to disagree with them? It can be very entertaining, especially when the argument is over something trivial and the comments are heated. Zach once read me comments from a post on Reddit about whether or not Canada is part of America, with some arguing that 'America' refer to the entire continent and not just the US. The comments were funny, but there were a surprising number of personal attacks in them. There were people on both sides attacking the intelligence of people on the other side, with sarcasm and name calling showing up in abundance.

We're quick to judge other people on very little evidence, and this is magnified by the anonymity of comments typed in on a screen rather than spoken out loud to a person in the same room. I've seen it time and time again on posts about everything from the phrase 'Black Lives Matter' to the covid vaccine to political policies. Sometimes the most innocuous looking comment attracts dozens of attacks that make me shake my head and wonder how people made the leap from what was written to how they interpreted it.

We can all be quick at times to apply labels to the people who don't agree with us. Maybe we wouldn't actually type in the judgmental comment, but it's entirely possible we'd still be thinking it.

They're stupid. 

They're selfish. 

They're an idiot.

Never mind that we're seeing only one facet of the person. Since they don't see the world the way we do, they are obviously inferior. Let's also ignore the fact that they're probably putting the same labels on us for disagreeing with them.

When I was reading 2 Chronicles a few weeks ago, I was struck by King Jehoshaphat's words. He "appointed judges in the land, in each of the fortified cities of Judah. He told them, 'Consider carefully what you do, because you are not judging for mere mortals but for the Lord, who is with you whenever you give a verdict. Now let the fear of the Lord be on you. Judge carefully, for with the Lord our God there is no injustice or partiality or bribery'" (2 Chronicles 19:5-7). Yes, he was speaking to people who would have been working officially as judges and their judgments would have been legally binding, so it doesn't apply to us in the same way. Even so, I love the phrase, 'consider carefully what you do' in relation to judging others.
considering carefully before we pass judgement would be a good habit |
Consider carefully that an opinion that differs from ours is not an indication of another person's intelligence. Not only that, but a person's intelligence is not a measure of their value or their dignity.

Consider carefully that we don't know why they feel the way they do or what their experiences have been.

Consider carefully that we might actually be wrong. That's a tough one, for sure, especially because we are often so attached to our opinions that we have a hard time letting them go. But we could be wrong. The other person, the one we're convinced right now is stupid, might be right and we will never see it if we're not willing to consider carefully rather than heaping judgment on them and moving on.

Just as a general rule, considering carefully before we pass judgement would be a good habit.


  1. This is so true - thank you for posting. Blessings.

  2. How up-lifting this message in these highly connected yet majorly disconnected times with social media. My daughter and I kindly refer to those who judge harshly as "keyboard warriors" and will bless them as we sign off, lol.

  3. This is especially timely after our most recent elections, both here and in the US. Unfortunately, it looks like the nastiness is going to be around for a bit yet.... and I have to check my own attitude, because I've been also been guilty.


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