Don’t Judge the Unfinished Story

Date: February 12, 2024

In his book “Grace for the Moment,” author Max Lucado asks the question, “Should we pass a verdict on a painting while the artist still holds the brush?”[1] Yet, when it comes to people, we do it all the time.  We judge people by what we see in their lives, not considering that God isn’t finished with them yet.

Pastor Chuck Swindoll tells the story of the time he was speaking for a conference and noticed a man in the audience who, although he came to the services with his wife, fell asleep almost immediately whenever the sermon began. The last evening of the conference, however, his wife attended by herself. She stayed after the service to speak with Chuck, and the first thing she said to him was: “Do you know you are my husband’s favorite preacher?” Chuck could not believe his ears! The man was not even staying awake for the sermon! Then she explained, “My husband has terminal cancer, and his medication causes him to fall asleep. He was so afraid he would not be well enough to attend this conference.”

Chuck says he felt like he has been stabbed in the chest. He had presumed the man was a lukewarm Christian who had been “dragged” to the conference by his wife. He had no idea of the effort required for that man to attend.

We easily forget that Jesus said, “Judge not, that you be not judged” (Matthew 7:1 NKJV). So, with compassion let’s remember that God is working in all our lives to refine us into His image. The apostle Paul said, “I am certain that God, who began the good work within youwill continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns” (Philippians 1:6 NLT).

[1] Max Lucado, Grace for the Moment, (Nashville, TN: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson Inc., 2000), May 8 selection “Get Out of the Judgement Seat”