a stone and a rusty nail

How do we keep from developing judgmental attitudes? This used to be my big hang-up when I first started counseling. Whenever people shared their problems with me, I found myself thinking,

“If he had stay away from the wrong crowd, this would never have happened.”

“He should have known better.”

“A little common sense could have prevented this…”

“A good lecture show sort her out.”

One day I shared my difficulties with an older counselor, who said, “That used to be my problem, too- and this is how I overcame it.’

Reaching into a desk drawer he took out a stone and a rusty nail.

‘I keep these here,’ he said, "For a special reason. The stone to remind me of the text, 'Let him who is without sin.. be the first to throw a stone' and the nail to remind me what a Friend did for me a long, long time ago on a hill called Calvary."

Since then, whenever I counsel anyone who has gone astray, I say to myself, “There, but for the grace of God, go I.”

a Counselor