“What your eyes have seen do not hastily bring into court; for what will you do in the end, when your neighbor puts you to shame?”Proverbs 25:7b-8
The length of the proverb has altered, and the subject matter too, pertaining much more to governance and issues we might even call political. But this proverb encompasses them both, the social and the personal.
We say “seeing is believing,” but often our eyes deceive us. The proverb warns against judging hastily, at first glance. It’s good advice. I remember looking at a car that appealed to me. Then I checked it out underneath and discovered the rust and “cancer” that ate at the frame. Looks can be deceiving! (Another proverb!) The same sometimes happens when we judge someone hastily. We may see someone in the company of someone whose lifestyle we question. That does not mean what we may at first glance think it means. I think we learned through “instant replay” not always to trust our eyesight watching a football play, or even a foul ball in baseball. Alas there are no instant replays in life, not unless we constantly wear a camera! Jesus said “judge not less you be judged.” Sometimes we call this “the benefit of the doubt.” I prefer to call it the “look of love.”
How do we wish to be treated by others? Harshly? Suspiciously? Negatively? Perhaps we should “take a second look” (another proverb!) in more than buying a car.
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