“ It is the Lord who judges me. 5 Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God.” 1 Corinthians 4:4-5
Christian and I have been doing a study of 1 Corinthians and last night what we read about judging others really hit home for me. It has enabled me to change my perspective once again! Last week up to yesterday had me so very tired mentally, and frustrated with people. But while studying I realized that I am judging these people, holding them against a standard which they can never live up to. We are very blessed to have had education, family and experiences in life that they haven’t had. When the children come to my door and see the water heating on the stove, they are amazed because they have never seen anything like that. Same thing with our house and the painters. They don’t understand what we are trying to do because they live in mud huts, and if especially lucky they make bricks from the dirt and build tiny little buildings. They aren’t painted. They don’t realize that the paint on the floor is a problem to me because they live with dirt floors. I have felt that they just haven’t cared but in reality that is partly my pride, but it is because they haven’t ever experienced having something nice, especially a house that is “decorated”. You can’t judge and fault a person for something they honestly don’t know. Only God sees what is on the inside, and He is the one that passes sentence. The two guys that have done the most painting and mess haven’t asked for anything in return. Yesterday they hounded Christian to unlock the doors so they could get to work. One of the guys brings us milk from his cows everyday, and has invited us to his house for dinner tonight (yes, we are scared!). I think they just want to be with us, to do for us out of the goodness of their hearts. So, what is a little more mess when they have saved me a lot of time and a lot less body ache? It is in these times that I believe God is working on them and on me. We look for the big things to see God in, but He has been showing us that sometimes it is the little things, the annoying things that He is doing His work. The little boys that hang out at our house, and ask for food because they are hungry. The guys that hang out just wanting to sit and talk. I thank God for helping me to change my attitude and the filter through which I look at others’ around me. I pray that He reminds me of this everyday so that I don’t get stuck in aggravation and bitterness.
Who do you judge because they are different than you? How do YOU know what is inside them that makes them do what they do? Who can you do for today that might change your way of thinking about that person? These are the questions I have asked myself and with God’s help hope to change how I treat others.
Pray for us about supper tonight, it is only the second time we have been asked to someone’s house to eat. It will be awkward because he doesn’t speak any english and we aren’t sure about the time. First he said lunch but then changed it to supper. So we don’t know when to go because they don’t eat supper here until 8-9 pm. It will really be awkward if we get there at 6-7 and have to sit a couple hours! And the food – usually when a guest is asked over, the host gives the best that he has. If he only has one chicken, he will cook it for the guest and won’t eat until all the guests have eaten. The women don’t eat until everyone is finished. And the women don’t ever come in to be with the guests. I’ve been told that in some homes, the female guest(s) will be put in a room alone while the men entertain the men. The other time we were invited it was two men and Christian, Raelee and I. The women were outside cooking and I went out and sat down. They didn’t know what to think and I’m pretty sure I made a a big social boo-boo but I told them I needed to learn to cook “Ugandan” so I would like to watch them. Then they were thrilled. It’s definitely a different culture and we are always learning. I pray tonight that the food is good so we can eat it all. It’s hard to be treated like royalty when they have so little and I would never want to waste the little that they have given to us, because for them it is everything.
“in every way and everywhere we accept this with all gratitude” Acts 24:3
**Note: Apparently God wanted to put me to the test…I had just posted this, went over to our building to clean and Kimuli had come in and started rolling stain all over my floor. I had tested a couple tiles in our room and it worked well so we went and bought 15 cans of the same “mahogany” but it was not the same. So I stopped and was trying to decide what to do next. I had no idea he had come in the building until he came to me with a can of stain. When I went to look, it was a mess! But I straightened it up best I could and told him thank you but get out! No, I took him into the last room to paint white. I think we are done painting and now when I go to work in there I will lock all the doors! God, keep giving me Your Grace to get through this!