Articles by Stan Dean

It Is Easy To Misjudge!

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An usher at a movie theater in Amarillo, Texas was walking down the aisle checking the crowd when he noticed a cowboy sprawled across three seats. That made him a little irritated, but in a professional way he spoke to the cowboy saying, “Sorry, sir, but you’re only allowed one seat.”

The cowboy’s only response was a brief groan and he never moved a muscle. The usher spoke more firmly, “Sir, if you don’t get up from there I’m going to have to call the manager.” Once again, the cowboy only groaned.

The usher concluded that the man, on top of being stubborn, was probably intoxicated and he marched away to get the manager. Shortly the two of them returned, but the manager had no success with the cowboy either. He still only responded with a couple of grunts.

So, the manager in turn called the police. When an officer arrived, the two theater attendants informed him about what was going on. He then leaned down to the cowboy and asked, “Okay buddy, what is your name?” In a low, muffled voice the man replied, “Fred.” “All right, Fred, where are you from?” the officer inquired. The cowboy then slowly raised his hand and with a shaky finger pointing upward he strained out the words, “The balcony.”

Have you ever been misjudged someone or a situation? If you have lived very long you probably have. In fact, it has been a human flaw that shows up throughout history. For example, when you read the New Testament, you discover that even Jesus was often misjudged for one reason or another. John records that Nathanael misjudged Jesus because of where He grew up! Philip told Nathanael, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Nathanael responded by asking, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Probably Nathanael made his judgment on things he had heard before about Nazareth. Nevertheless, Philip challenged his judgment by inviting him to, “Come and see” (John 1:45, 46).

People are still prone to misjudge a lot of things today- - and sometimes even Jesus and His Church. Why? Well, like Nathanael, usually based on “things they have heard.” But perhaps the best answer (and challenge) I can give to them is the same as Philip, “Come and see.” Only then can you judge accurately (cf. John 7:24).


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