Judging in the best sense of the term


By Jessica Tanner
Special to The PREVIEW
Most of us recoil in horror at the idea of being “judgmental.” My Bible wisdom verse this morning argues for a near 180 on that idea. Judge if you must, but do it right.
“A gracious woman retaineth honor, and strong men retain riches.” — Proverbs 11:16 (KJV).
These Bible proverbs often put things side by side, like a good idea next to a bad one to get us to decide what they mean.
This one took a while to unpack, but the meaning is worth it. One has to look hard to find where good trumps evil in real life. This tells me to look harder. Stand this woman next to these men and judge. Neither has done anything wrong, but one shines. Outnumbered and weaker, she displays the stubborn will and the inner decency to win something better. In life’s battles, she reminds us to preserve honor with a gracious heart.
Wise people look for those who do better with less. It happens a lot and is easy to miss. This is judging in the best sense of the term, because it is not the number or the strength of those in a conflict we need to see. It is who has the better soul and the better goal.
I sat under a female pastor for a number of years in Oakland. Widowed, and coming from a town in Canada that had lost all its men to war, she came to California to start a church in this bad part of town. She took a fair amount of flak for being female, but as the streets got darker, the church grew bigger. Turning those of us who made it through the door to righteousness was no small task. Gutsy as anything if you ask me.
Last week’s “Matter of Faith” was incorrectly attributed to Jan Davis when, in fact, it was written by Jeff Smith. The SUN regrets this error.