This I Believe

Adrian - Lincoln, Nebraska
Entered on December 7, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged.” (Matt. 7:1-2 New King James Version)[new paragraph]

The importance of these words have been impressed on me throughout the years. I can’t judge a person without giving him or her the right to judge me. But as a freshman in academy I didn’t fear being judged, because I was young and naïve. Although I was attending an Adventist academy and most of us were raised in Adventist families, some students still were insubordinate, deviant, or sneaky. The standards I had set for myself I did not impose on others. For the most part, any judgments I made were positive, overlooking, or compassionately sympathetic.

[new paragraph]

“Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery.” Jn. 8:3 [new paragraph]

I remember taking a critical attitude towards one person. I was not impressed by her behavior, which made me label her. I realize now that I was being presumptuous. I looked down on her as a result. “He raised Himself up and said to them, ‘He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.’ ” v. 7. I have enough history behind me now (things I’ve done that I’m ashamed of) to humble me. “And Jesus said to her, ‘Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.’ ” v. 11. How could I have a condemning attitude toward her? I myself am a sinner like she is—and serve a God who has forgiven all the sins I’ve committed and lets me start over. [new paragraph]

“In lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.” Phil. 2:3

[new paragraph]

Now, as a freshman in college, I’m definitely not as unsullied as I was when entering academy. Now rather than simply sympathizing, I can empathize with others in their struggles and pitfalls. I’m no better than they are. And that’s what my attitude should reflect. Sometimes I still judge others critically, and when I do, it’s easy to treat them coldly or ignore them. That’s not right; God is the Judge, not me. I still have to deliberately adjust my judgmental reactions to people’s behavior or bad choices, because putting people in a box is wrong, hurting them and me. He or she is a child of God, a unique person that I don’t want to miss out on getting to know.

[new paragraph]

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Rom. 3:23