In Isaiah 11 verses 3 and 4 it says,

“He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.”

Isaiah 11 is one of those verse that my professors in college loved. They would quote it so often that I know most of the chapter by heart. Though still to this day these verses are some of the main ones within the Bible that I still ponder.  Mainly because this chapter helps me move my mind into a frame of thought. One that makes me question my every thought and action. Not only that, but these few verses themselves, make me think about how it is that I personally react to the world around me.

When I was in collage one of my key professors had this saying, “people act in ways that make sense to them.” Makes sense right. People do that which they know how to do. If you only teach and show people one way of doing things, they are only going to truly only know how to do that one thing that one way. This is true in every aspect of life, even so, within the church. Many of us that are raised within the church learned how to live out “church culture”, but what has this raising taught us. Have our traditions within the church taught us to not judge by what our eyes see, or what our ears hear?

When I was a teen I was going through a lot. I had just gotten out of an abusive relationship with my ex. One that had left me wondering what it was that I had done to deserve being in such a relationship. I was so heart broken that I turned to the one person that I thought could help me understand why it is that God put me through such a thing. Yet, instead of words of comfort I was told that everything that happened was indeed my fault and that I should look for the reason. This is just a small example, yet stuff like this still happens within the church.

Rather then looking to God for how it is that we should judge that people around us, we within the church, use our own traditions and culture to set the parameters of how it is that we should judge. In simpler terms we judge simply by what we see and hear, not, instead with what we know within our hearts. Maybe it is time that we let God be the parameter. Maybe it is time to act in ways that are more righteous and just, rather then compulsion due to anger or frustration of the lack of tradition.

~Pastor Jillian