Judge Not

Remember Sarah? She was the wife of Abraham, the man whose righteousness pleased God. Sarah did not bear a child for a long time. So she asked Abraham to take her maidservant Hagar and have a child with her. Abraham did; and so Ishmael was born.

But God had His plans. God told Abraham that Sarah will give birth to a child who will be Abraham’s heir, the father of all nations. Sarah did not believe as she heard it, by eavesdropping, from God’s messengers. She even laughed. When she was confronted why she laughed, she lied. She did not confirm that she did laugh.

But the lying is not our point here. We already said that there are black lies and white lies and grey lies. Our point here is that Sarah, if she were alive today, would be labelled as “mean.” Why?

One day she was watching her son, Isaac, who was playing with Ishmael, the son of Hagar. Both were sons of Abraham. Sarah could have loved them both equally if she loved Abraham. But no! Sarah demanded from Abraham to send away Hagar and her son and not to let Ishmael inherit anything from Abraham. Is this not being mean?

But God had better plans; And God always has better plans for everyone.

So Abraham talked to Hagar. The poor maidservant could only cry. With her son at her back and with a little food provision and water, they set off into the wilderness. What a scene that would have been today, sending off a woman and a child into the unknown. What had she done? Did she not obey her master Sarah? But at that time servants were just servants. Period.

But God saw Hagar and Ishmael. God picked her up from pieces. God comforted Hagar. God did not judge Hagar. God blessed Ishmael and he became the father of twelve nations.

But the meanness of Sarah did not change God’s plan. God was still firm in His decision to make Abraham and Isaac the fathers of all nations. God did not judge Sarah. He just ignored her meanness to Hagar and Ishmael. God persisted in His plan.

It is difficult not to judge because we are only humans. We get affected with life’s turmoils and life’s challenges. We belong to a society that asks us to conform lest we be labelled as “ab-normal” (away from the normal). Conforming is easy but sometimes we lose our uniqueness when we just follow what others are doing. Sometimes, we get out of focus because we are affected with emotions, with opinions, with rumors, with how others see events, with how others are perceived.

I am like Sarah. I am mean sometimes or maybe most of the times. But perhaps like Sarah, God is giving me chances.

Sarah lived a long life. Surely, she may have changed after the banishment of Hagar and Ishmael. As they say, it is not how you were in the past but how you are doing now while treading the road of transformation.

Changing mindset is difficult. Sarah was challenged with the way of life; living with Hagar and her son. Yet, if we want to live a happy life, we have to earn the right mindset; one that brings about the best in us; one that dwells in the now; one that is hopeful; one that uplifts others; one that blesses others; one that makes us the better versions of us.

We do not judge; lest we be judged (Matthew 7:1). Let’s bathe in the joyful thought of a life full of goodness. We look at the other way where the sun shines brighter and where the moon smiles with its silver face. We cry like Hagar and we will still be blessed. We can be confused like Sarah but we will still be blessed.

Judge not!