Jun 16, 2023 673 Susan Uthup

What’s your attitude?

Many of us are familiar with the parable in the Gospel of Luke (Luke 18: 9-14) that dramatizes and contrasts the prayers of the Pharisee and the tax collector. When we compare their prayers, we might identify more with the prayer of the Pharisee who thanks God that he was not a sinner like the tax collector. Thinking ourselves generous, we may have prayed such a prayer without recognizing the self-righteous attitude and the sense of superiority embedded in that prayer. Jesus instead praises the humble prayer of the tax collector whose humility and honesty allows him to go home justified.

If we adopt the attitude of the tax collector, we won’t be likely to judge other people unjustly. If we sincerely see ourselves as the sinner we are, how could we pronounce the final judgment on another? Judging others’ final destiny comes from an attitude of superiority, a sense of pride that we might say was the first and greatest sin. Our Lord always leaves the door for mercy open until the final moment.

As we go through our day, do we stop to consider how many times we judge others based on exterior perceptions, whereas the Lord sees into their hearts? Do you ever find yourself condemning others when you are watching or reading the news? How often does a person’s race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other trait that is different from our own cause us to pass a negative judgment on them?

Unfortunately, many of us don’t realize the gravity of judging others while failing to closely examine our own actions and motivations. In the Gospels, Jesus embraces the outcasts and sinners. He shows love and acceptance toward those that the self-righteous Pharisees and the scribes rejected. The compassion Jesus had for sinners should fill our hearts-whenever we are dealing with those who are different from us or whose actions offend us.

When we humbly realize that we are indeed sinners, we will throw ourselves on God’s mercy and realize that the blood Jesus shed on Calvary was shed for us, for our enemies, and for those we are inclined to judge. They too have precious souls that Jesus longs to redeem.

When we pray for people, let’s first examine the attitude we have toward them. Is our attitude compassionate, or is it purely judgemental? A prayer that comes from a loving heart will be more fruitful than a prayer born of judgment.

Let us ask the Lord’s forgiveness for the times we have judged others unjustly and beg Him to bless us with a compassionate heart like His.


Susan Uthup

Susan Uthup works as a rehabilitation instructor at a rehabilitation center for the blind in Chicago, Illinois. She lost her eyesight in a car accident over fifteen years ago. Uthup shared her inspiring story in the SHALOM WORLD original series "Triumph" (www.ShalomWorld.org/triumph).

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