More than a year ago there was an article in a school bus industry publication that touched on road rage and how we can avoid it. The article also asked readers to let them know of ways that they deal with it, and I promptly responded, to which they included my response in the following issue.
My method for dealing with road rage isn’t limited to driving and road rage. It’s a mindset I’ve tried to establish within myself since high school for all of life. It’s a rather simple one if I may say so. What I try to do is whenever I see or hear something I first stop and ask myself a simple question, “have I ever said or done that before?” If I realize the very thing I was going to get criticle of is something that I’ve been guilty of myself at any time, then I have no place to be criticle or get upset. You may not think that would have much of an effect on you, but if you haven’t taken on that mindset before I challenge you to try it for a month and see what happens.
This way of thinking is at its foundation Biblical. We read in Matthew 7 that we are not to judge others otherwise we will be judged. More specifically, if we were to take it down to the original language, it implies that the exact thing we judge someone else for we will be judged for. You could also say that the same measure or standards by which we judge others God will use to judge us.
Let me give you an example I often times share with others to help you understand this. Let’s say that Billy Ray did something that really hurt and took advantage of you, and Billy Ray apologized for it. Let’s say that when Billy Ray apologized you analyzed it to determine if he was sincere, or maybe you would only accept his apology and forgive him if he satisfied certain “conditions”. Your response to Billy Ray’s apology is entirely up to you, and you have a “right” to handle it however you want, but there is something to remember. Your response to Billy Ray’s apology will determine God’s response to your apologies. The factors you used to determine whether or not to forgive Billy Ray, or the conditions you placed upon Billy Ray in order to forgive him, these very things would be the same that God will use when you ask for His forgiveness. Now, if you were quick to simply accept Billy Ray’s apology and to forgive him, God will be equally quick to simply accept your apologies and forgive you. This is just an example to make the point that the way we critize or judge another, God could use that same response towards us.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be like the unforgiving servant we read about in Matthew 18, that has the very things he was forgiven of now held against him because of his response to a fellow servant. How about you? So, the next time something rises up within you to criticize or judge someone else, or even to get very upset and “balistic” towards another, stop and ask yourself if you’ve ever said or done something like that before, and if so extend grace towards that person or group of people. That is what Jesus would want.
Think about it.
Copyright 2012 – John Johansson