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  • Donna Renfro

Judge Not

Matthew 7:1, “Do not judge, so that you may not be judged.”

As humans, we often judge each other based on a situation or appearance. Often, Kevin and I have been told, “You look great.” Well, looks can be deceiving. Both of us deal with neurological disorders which can be difficult to “see” on the outside of our bodies. Of course it is evident when we are unable to walk, talk, or function there is a problem; but, sometimes we are silently suffering and it is not evident by simply looking at us.

The picture with this post was taken in May 2011. It was the day Miranda graduated from high school. I had homeschooled her from Kindergarten through graduation; so, there was no way I was going to miss being a part of the graduation. The weeks before her graduation my body began in a downward spiral, which caused me to receive emergency medical treatment multiple times. I refused to be admitted into any hospital, but would allow treatment to aid my body in the extreme pain. The morning of her graduation, I had to go have multiple shots and was heavily medicated. However, in the picture my pain is not evident. But, trust me I was suffering.

The day after her graduation, I was hospitalized for over a week while an excellent neurologist diligently worked with my faithful internist to find a solution for my pain. Words simply cannot express the pain I endure when my body attacks me. I expect others who suffer with my disorders understand. However, I pray no one ever experiences the physical pain I have endured.

Also, in the picture you will note I am with Kevin who is already diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Personally, I think he looked great in the picture and people would be shocked to know the majority of his day was spent resting in the bed. Fatigue dominated his life.

I have considered the comment, “You look great.”

People will assume because I post a photo on Facebook or they see us out in public, we are doing fantastic. Hopefully, when you see us or a good picture of us - it is a representation of a great day. But, it may just be a moment in the day with laughter, happiness, and fun. In other words, there may be more to the story - just like the photo with this post. I was at Miranda’s graduation; however, I had to be at the doctors before it and be hospitalized afterwards.

The Greek word judge in Matthew 7 is κρίνω and literally means to “form an opinion or conclusion about.” So, the Bible is clear in giving instructions. As Believers, we need to love one another and not jump to conclusions based on appearance, race, sin, or add our conclusions. A person may appear strong and healthy; but, maybe they are simply trusting God to carry them through the moment because they are too weak to endure it. Another person may appear rich; but, maybe they are in extreme debt. Someone else may seem bitter; but' maybe they are hurt by past abuse.

I am confident it is not our job to judge – it is our duty to love people where they are with the compassion of Christ. Letting people know “they look well” is kind, but just know even if they look well on the outside they may be in physical, mental, spiritual, financial, or emotional pain. I pray this post will give insight and perspective into judging other people in any area of life. Have a blessed day.

#faith #miranda

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