A young man worked as a clerk in a bank and earned a very good salary. But in the opinions of his fellow clerks, he seemed to be very stingy and miserly. He even stinted himself in his own manner of living. He boarded in inexpensive lodgings and dressed in an economical way, which seemed to be quite unnecessary for one who had his kind of income. He avoided all social expenditures in which his friends freely indulged.
But the truth about him was that he had an only sister, who lived hundreds of miles away. She was an invalid, who was entirely dependent upon her brother for everything – for they were both orphans. This was the secret of his “stinginess” and “miserliness” which his friends condemned; he was supporting his dear sister. He denied luxuries to himself so that he might send delicacies and comforts to her.
If his fellow clerks had known all the facts, they would have honored his faithfulness and not called it stingy. They misjudged him because they did not know all his story.
Life is full of illustrations of the same mistake in judging. We have a tendency to blame or condemn others when we only have partial knowledge of the situation. Thus, we are constantly doing injustice to others. Too often, we form our opinions after hearing only one side. We judge from what others have told us, and sometimes from mere gossip or outward appearances. We condemn without knowing all the facts. Indeed, human nature seems to have a quality that is most un-Christlike, which is eager to seize upon the smallest reasons for condemning or criticizing others. And very often, things that seem to be wrong in others – if only we knew all the circumstances – would appear to be most trivial matters, or even truly good and beautiful things!
Have you ever formed a mistaken opinion about something that appeared to be negative in someone, only to find out later that your perceptions were entirely wrong? Pray for grace to imitate Christ by finding every reason for praising our brothers and sisters, instead of condemning them based on outward appearances.
Please don’t hesitate to share your thoughts on this article! Feel free to leave your reflections and ask your questions in the Comments section below.
God bless you and your family, this day and always.
All for the King’s glory,
photo by Towfiqu Barbhuiya on Unsplash
This post is another installment of Miller’s Monday Musings, a weekly series that is published every Monday on our website. The series features selected writings that have been adapted from the works of James Russell Miller (1840-1912), a much-beloved Christian author and pastor who is well-remembered for his practical thoughts on Christian home and family life. Learn more about this weekly series by clicking here.