I recently encountered a neighbor at a local supermarket. She asked me if I had called the police on the neighbors next door. I stated I hadn't and asked her why she was asking. She stated the she had noticed a lot of odd activity next door with a lot of people coming and going at all hours of the day and night. She spoke to the police about this activity. She then informed me that (without going into too much detail) they were apparently recovering addicts.
Being a father of small children, I got very concerned. I immediately went into hyper-protective mode. I was going to get a CCTV system and put it up and monitor the house. I was going to take some serious steps here. I was going to call the landlord and ask her what she thought she was doing...renting to THOSE kind of people. How dare she put my family at risk!
The whole while, a little voice kept chiding me not to judge even as I was ranting about the situation in front of my children. I struggled with it because I was torn between wanting to protect my family and wanting to follow the words of Christ and withhold judgement. Thankfully, between the little voice and the price tag of the CCTV systems I looked at, I decided to hold off until I learned a little more. After all, all I had against them was the word of a neighbor. And honestly, I every respect they had thus far been good neighbors. They were quite, they put up holiday decorations. They even shoveled my sidewalk one day.
The very next day guess who shows up in our church...the same neighbors.
My wife and I couldn't believe it. What a poor example I was in front of our kids...trash talking the neighbors and the landlord. All the while we had folks right next door looking for a church. And instead of meeting them, getting to know them, and asking them if they were interested in coming to church, we assumed the worst and hid ourselves away.
I cannot believe that this was a chance occurrence.
God has a interesting sense of humor...
Well played, God, well played....lesson learned.