"Passing" Judgment

Feeling elated over the Saint’s victory last night – the game I worried about yesterday, I went online early this morning to check the news. I paid particular attention to the sports pages, both on the nationally syndicated sites as well as the local ones. Nothing beats reading the fine details of how your team forged their success and how plans are already being made for taking on next week’s opponent. It used to be the sports pages of the newspaper and a hot cup of coffee. The coffee remains today, but the Internet gives you far more news from different angles and opinions, all within a veritable blink of an eye.

During my browse, I read an article from the Atlanta Journal Constitution (I like to read the opposing team's view of the game as well) that gave me pause due to the tone of the report. Atlanta’s quarterback could seemingly do no wrong over the past year and a half. The city adopted him; he was their hero and would surely lead them into the promised land of postseason play for many seasons to come. At twenty-four years of age with a cannon for an arm and an even sharper intellect, he fit the part. However, that tone apparently changed overnight in the viewpoint of the columnist whose article I happened to read this morning. His opinion is that the success was a fluke and the hero quarterback from a year ago is merely a flash in the pan.

Because of one ‘less than stellar’ performance against a very good team, the writer was apparently ready to throw him under the bus. I can’t begin to imagine how the young quarterback will feel if he should happen to read the article himself. We are so quick to elevate people to hero-worship status these days, and more often than not, we easily cast them aside at the least sign of weakness. It’s a shame, I tell you. But we live in a society that thrives on tearing people down when they do not meet our lofty expectations.

As a Christian, I have found myself doing the same thing on many occasions and it is not a trait that I am proud of. In my own mind I can elevate a preacher or a deacon to super-saint status and then become disenchanted when they turn out to be merely human in the end. I’m quick to judge, although the Bible is rife with passages against doing so, and as a ‘fruit’ judge I’m not always honest and fair when I feel I have been let down. If I am going to judge other Christians by their fruit, then I better make sure my own fruit can pass the inspector’s test beforehand. I’ve heard it said that people who live in glass houses should never throw stones, and there is a lot of truth in that statement.

Maybe that is why in Matthew chapter 7 Jesus prefaces his discourse on knowing false prophets by ‘their fruit’ in stating, “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.” As for some of those preachers or deacons I mentioned above that may or may not have let me down - who was it that put them up on the pedestal in the first place? They were human like me and have feelings and emotions like me. I need to be more careful in this area.

Meanwhile, to the writer who wrote the article blasting Atlanta's young quarterback for not being what everyone perceived him to be – I found no less than six grammatical errors in your column. Maybe the readers of the AJC should throw you under the bus for not meeting their expectations as a writer.

But who am I to judge?

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