Several years ago I had an encounter with a woman in a parking lot. She was very angry at me. She felt that I was taking way too . . . long to park my mini van. I know this because she told me. It was spring, and we both had our windows down. She was yelling for me to hurry up. She needed for me to park so that she could pass in her vehicle. She was obviously upset.
It was all I could do to grit my teeth together and not respond in a harsh manner. After all, I was doing the best I could! Patience is a virtue. It was a small parking place and a large mini van. I had all sorts of retorts in my mind and on the tip of my tongue. I held back. I was not rude. I was proud of myself for not stooping to her level. I passed judgment on her for her behavior, and I was so self-righteous because I had not responded in kind.
I doubt I am the only person who has ever had this type of encounter. We come away feeling good about us, but we do judge that other person. I believe that God is calling us to go farther. It is not enough to keep silent. It is not enough to keep our judgments internal. We must be loving to this person. I could have been more loving that day. I could have shown compassion for this woman. I could have prayed for her. I could have been more like Jesus and less self-righteous.
We have opportunities to shine the light of Christ into the world. We have the opportunity to be Jesus to the world. Be willing to be Jesus to the world. Be willing to go beyond self-righteousness.