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  • Helen Bent

Do not judge (04-05-20)

A Bible Reading: Matthew 7:1-5

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

A Thought

I frequently feel sorry for the cabinet ministers and medical officers at the daily Coronavirus briefings on television, when they are interrogated by the media. An undermining attitude and negativity often prevails, despite positive progress day by day. It is so easy to criticize, but I doubt any of us would want the responsibility they have to carry.

In these unprecedented times, the politicians, alongside the senior medical officers and advisers, have a nightmare job. In the early days the goal posts moved daily as more information became available. Hindsight is a wonderful thing even in six weeks, but politicians can only do their best with the information available at any given time. I am quite sure that most cabinet ministers will not sleep easy at night under the weight of responsibility while the pandemic continues.

I remember learning a prayer of the native American Indians as a child, and it would seem pertinent here: “Lord, help me not to judge another until I have walked in his moccasins for a whole week.” In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus warns us that if we judge others, we will be judged using the same measure. We can never know in full the weight of responsibility or depth of pain felt by someone else.

Whatever our political views, let us lay them aside and join the fight against a common enemy in whatever way we can. We have a prime minister who admits after his time in ICU with Covid-19 that ‘it could have gone either way’. Boris Johnson has publicly payed tribute to the nurses who cared for him, and honoured the two doctors who saved his life, both called Nick, by naming his new-born son after them. He has also joined with the millions in clapping the NHS at 8 pm on a Thursday night. Let us give the politicians and their medical advisers some applause too, and continue to pray for them in the difficult decisions that they have to make on a daily basis.

A Prayer

We pray for the government and their medical advisers with the heavy responsibility for the lives of others and the economic stability of this country. Grant them godly wisdom and discernment in their decision making and strengthen them to face the many challenges that lie ahead.

Amen.

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