John Wesley said, ‘We should be rigorous in judging ourselves and gracious in judging others.’ Why did Jesus say, ‘Look beneath the surface so you can judge correctly’? (John 7:24 NLT) Because He had experienced the pain of rejection and misunderstanding. ‘He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.’ (John 1:11 NKJV)
The apostle James writes: ‘Practice your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ by not favouring one person over another. For example, two men come to your worship service. Suppose you give special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say to him, “Please have a seat.” But you say to the poor man… “Sit on the floor at my feet.” Aren’t you discriminating?’ (James 2:1–4 GWT)
There’s a story about country singer Lonzo Green. His nephew Jimmy asked him to tune a friend’s guitar. The problem was Jimmy’s friend was from the ‘wrong side of the tracks’ and Jimmy’s parents wouldn’t allow him inside their house where Uncle Lonzo was visiting. So they decided to meet outside. As the kid approached, Green noticed his self-consciousness and sideways glances at the upscale neighbourhood. Lonzo, who had experienced poverty and discrimination in his own life, tuned the boy’s old guitar, played a few songs, and taught him some chords. The young man thanked him and left with a warm memory he would carry throughout the rest of his life.
Eventually that boy crossed the tracks for good with his guitar and soft, polite drawl and hesitant smile, and was never unwelcome again. That’s because the boy who wasn’t allowed in the house that day was—Elvis Presley!