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Mom of five lovely daughters, wife of one dashing man. Born in Utah, grew up in Oregon, live in Georgia.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

You just never know

We've all heard stories about people making judgements based on incomplete facts. (And we've all probably been guilty of it ourselves in the past.) But here is yet another story that makes me realize why the Lords commands us to "judge not."

A couple of my nieces were at a high school football game when one of them unexpectedly started her period and bled all over her shorts. (A teenage girl's nightmare!!) Luckily one of her friends happened to have an extra pair of shorts in her car that she could change in to. The shorts were rather short and not exactly modest, but considering the situation my niece went ahead and changed.

Later into the game they noticed that a lady from our ward was taking pictures of them with a cell phone camera. She and her husband were obviously concerned about my niece's short shorts and were set on busting her for what they assumed was devious behavior. (Afterall, her parents would not have let her out of the house in those shorts.) Not one to back down in the face of a challenge, one of my nieces approached the lady from our ward and asked her if she was taking pictures of her sister. The lady responded that she was going to show the pictures to their parents and that they wouldn't have to worry about being caught if they "didn't dress like sluts." Ouch. Not knowing the whole story she had jumped to conclusions and made unfair judgments. And in the process totally humiliated an already embarassed teenager.

Of course the lady from our ward had good intentions, but the lesson I learn is that we need to teach and lead with love, not condemnation. And that we are very seldom in a position to judge because we simply do not know the whole story.

12 comments:

tara said...

That is a story I will never forget, it's going into the 'archives' (of my brain, but I'd better write it down too, b/c I'm likely to forget!)

I have certainly been on both sides of the coin. Sometimes even unintentionally 'placing judgment'. I read something the other day I'd written on my blog a while back (when people in my ward had no clue i had a blog!) and thought 'oh gosh, I can see how that could have been offensive if the reader(s) didn't understand what I meant'. What was meant to be a compliment and admiration (I wish I could be like that!) very likely came across as a criticism.

Guess I'd better clear that up.

Stacey said...

I'm glad you shared that. I recently have been thinking about this same topic. I was thinking about how some people have judged me and some comments that were very hurtful as they just didn't know the whole story. However, it has made me reflect that I hope I haven't done the same to someone else. I think we don't judge intentionally but, we need to be more aware of our own thoughts and actions. Thanks for the reminder.

Sally said...

Wow, that is a great story to illustrate an important point! Thanks!

Jen said...

AMEN! That is crazy.

Shana said...

What a great story Jessi and a great one that could be used in stories for YW, or other places! Thank you for sharing. And yes, I have learned to never judge! We all make mistakes (even if she did choose to wear those "short" shorts without her parents knowing). She would have learned from that anyhow. We are all learning each and every day and I honestly can not stand judgemental people... they will later be judged themselves.
I am sure she felt quite dumb after finding out why she was really wearing them. I know I sure would!!

Kjirsten said...

That sure hits a chord! I learned my "judging" lesson when I was serving a mission. I got up to bear my testimony in zone conference and I noticed that two missionaries in the front row were whispering to each other, an elder and sister no less (scandalous!). And so I waited for them to stop talking before I began. Well as soon as I opened my mouth, the chit-chatting between the two began again. I looked at them and waited for them to stop AGAIN (hoping they would get the message) and when all was quiet, I proceeded. This pattern was continued thru my whole testimony, and instead of leaving the pulpit improved by the Spirit, I was pretty angry at the rudeness of those two missionaries. Well after the meeting, those same two people made a bee-line towards me to tell me how much they enjoyed my comments (can you believe the nerve of some people...as if they listened, they were talking the ENTIRE time!) Then as an after thought, the Elder said "Oh, and thank you for pausing so often in your testimony, this sister just arrived here from Russia and doesn't speak French and I was translating for her, that was so kind of you to stop every now and then and let me catch up." I felt awful! I had misjudged them as being rude, and they had misgjudged me as being kind. Since then, I have tried to judge others in the same light that they misjudged me.

Chris said...

And who are they to judge anyway? And who made it her business? Oh I hate stories like that because I have known people like that also. I"ve learned the hard way to NEVER judge a person because you never know when you will be in their shoes. I hope next time she'll mind her own business!! Heaven forbid her child makes a mistake huh? Wow!!

Michelle said...

How true it is! Thank you for sharing that story. I think we have all been guilty of judging too soon. And how quick we learn not to!

Kate said...

okay, that lady was so mean?!!! Seriously...it was NONE of her business in the first place. You should send in that story to the Ensign or New Era...seriously. It's a good one. Your poor neice!!!

Erin said...

I am so glad you posted that. I try hard to live by the not judge rule. we talk about it a lot in my house, but I know I am guilty of it from time to time.

MiandMiksmom said...

Oh my Goodness! I can't believe that lady didn't have something better to do than to worry about a girl's shorts. Did anyone tell her the situation? I hope she learned something about judging too. Thanks for sharing the story.

I loved Kjirsten's story on the comments... As I am meeting new people every day, I will really keep these stories close to my heart!

When is the big day?????

Natalie said...

I love that you just calmly tell the story and then give your spiritual insight about it without judging the judger yourself. You are an inspiration to us all. xo!