The Elderly Lady
Yesterday my wife attended a CPR training course. As she was getting up from the floor, after practicing CPR, the instructor, younger than our sons, rushed over to help her get up. She saw him coming and quickly got up on her own. When she told me about it I told her she denied him the opportunity to be a gentleman. “Well,” she said, “if he was going to help me up because I was a lady that would have been okay. I resisted his helping me get up because he thought I was an elderly lady. He didn’t offer to help the younger ladies.”
And there it is. Motive is everything. If I do something nice and kind because it is the right thing to do that is great. If I do something nice and kind because I want to rack up points with others or with God that isn’t so cool. I am so glad God knows our hearts. I so often hear people being critical of other’s behavior without knowing why they did something. Juries have sentenced people to life in jail because they have ended someone’s life. However, sometimes ending someone’s life might have been an incredibly difficult act of love and mercy. In the 1950s in Pennsylvania a state trooper shot and killed a truck driver who was trapped inside a burning semi.
We are so quick to judge. Often quick to say, “That was stupid.” One of the greatest things Jesus ever said was “Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.” Until we know all the factors that went into someone’s actions it really is best for us to hold our tongues. Silence can be so profoundly wise.