“Since you judge others for doing these things, why do you think you can avoid God’s judgment when you do the same things?”
Behold, the noisemakers.
What a bunch.
They had obviously hit the jackpot – there was something mighty tiny and mighty tasty getting their feathers mighty ruffled.
We heard all about it as we drifted past in our kayak.
I sure wish I could speak Gull…
I have a delightful bunch of noisemakers in my classroom, too. They seem to always be teaching me something.
Not long ago, my littles were busy writing in their journals. The ‘thinking music’ – Mozart – was quietly playing. The pencils were flying, the puzzlers puzzling, the neurons firing.
It was rather a delightful moment.
And then it happened.
Eyebrows were raised. Puzzlers left their puzzling to listen, eyes searched for the owner of the odd sound.
Exasperated Little: Stop it! Stop making that noise! I can’t focus! I can’t write!
Noisemaker: *stunned silence*
*class returns to writing*
*two minutes later*
Previously Exasperated Little: crrrrgkkkjh-mmmmmfohorjfjdrndf-slurp
(Sounds are approximated. I have no idea how to spell that kind of throat production.)
Every Other Little, now equally exasperated, in admirable unison: Heyyyyyyy!!!!!
Previously Exasperated, Noisemaker Little: Stop it! No more noise! I can’t focus!
(Seriously. I couldn’t make this stuff up.)
Me, in my head after trying valiantly not to get caught giggling: How can this wee one be that oblivious? How can this little call out a friend and not have any idea that he just did the exact same thing?
But y’all know that by now, it’s sinking in.
And it hits home.
How often have judged someone for doing the exact thing I’ve just done?
I’ve been working on taming my tongue for years. In some ways, I’ve made progress. In others, it’s as if I’ve never practiced the skill, let alone aced the test.
*skeirhfktnekesnurrrrk* (exasperated noise)
Aren’t we all noisemakers in our own right? Haven’t we all beaked off at someone, tattled, dangled a juicy slice of gossip, gotten our feathers in a flap over something too small to even remember?
I’m sure not where I want to be in my noisemaking (aka tongue-taming) goal.
And although I’ve become more aware of and sensitive to my propensity to judge, and am making an honest effort to toss in more grace than growl, I sure have a long way to go.
But my recent study in the book of Romans is really challenging me afresh and giving me lots to chew on.
And being in a front row seat to my littles as they learn key lessons in friendship and social skills sure helps me see my own struggles in a new light.
I can’t judge.
I am not the Judge.
I have enough of my own noise to clear up, thanks very much.
Toss more grace than growl into your attitude with me?
Father, thank You for this reminder at this particular time in our history about judging the actions and words of others. Give me a heart that is quick to extend grace, and a tongue that is quick to remain silent if there is nothing beautiful or helpful to say. Amen.