“I Pre-Judged You And I’ve Never Been So Wrong In My Life”

I believe that the sin of judging others is one of the most frequently committed sins among Christians. I admit, that I am guilty of it as well. But recently, I saw a movie that teaches us how wrong it is to judge others.
On New Year’s Eve, Holli and I went to see the movie “Hacksaw Ridge.” The movie is the true story of Desmond Doss from Lynchburg, VA. He signed up for the military as the United States entered World War II. Doss was a conscientious objector and did not believe in killing people. Though Desmond would not touch a gun, he felt led to enlist to be a medic.
At boot camp, there came a time when the soldiers began training with weapons. Doss informed his officers that he would not touch a gun. His commanding officers were angry about this and demanded that Doss learn how to handle a weapon. But he wouldn’t. His commanding officers gave Doss either difficult or demeaning tasks to complete ,and they made the entire unit run extra in an attempt to get them mad at Doss and force him to quit. One night, members of the unit threw him out of his bed and beat him up, but he still wouldn’t quit.
Finally, Doss was facing court-martial. At the last moment, his Dad, who had served in World War I, brought a note from his commanding officer in World War I, which indicated that Doss could serve as a medic and didn’t have to learn how to use a weapon.
So, the entire group is sent to Japan… to Okinawa. Upon arrival, they are told their mission. They must take Hacksaw Ridge. If they take Hacksaw Ridge, they would take Okinawa. But taking Hacksaw Ridge would be tough.
They climbed a rope ladder up an immense cliff and began their assault. At first, they were advancing. But then, the Japanese sent in reinforcements and the unit had to retreat back down the rope ladder. Doss was about to go down the ladder, but stopped to help a soldier. Using ropes, he lowered the soldier down the forty-yard bluff.
But that wasn’t enough. After lowering that soldier, Doss went back and got another. He lowered that soldier, and went back again. And again… And again… And again. In all, he saved and lowered seventy-five wounded soldiers.
At some point, a medic down below asked, “Where are these men coming from?”
Someone responds, “Doss is up there.”
“Doss,” as in, the guy they treated brutally in basic training.
Doss was eventually forced down by advancing Japanese soldiers. While recovering from his own wounds, one of his commanding officers came to see him. This was the same man who wanted Doss kicked out of the military earlier. He says to Doss, “I pre-judged you and I’ve never been so wrong in all my life.”
Think about that line…. “I pre-judged you… and I’ve never been so wrong in all my life.” Haven’t most of us been there? We judge someone only to learn more about the person and learn that we were wrong.
As we begin this New Year, let’s not be so quick to judge others. Jesus said we are guilty of finding a speck in someone else’s eyes while over-looking a beam in our own eyes.
Let’s not judge others. When we do, we can make the same mistake the officer made in “Hacksaw Ridge;” “I pre-judged you and I’ve never been so wrong in my life.”

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