The Peach Principle
“Do not judge, so that you won’t be judged. For you will be judged by the same standard with which you judge others, and you will be measured with the same measure you use. Why do you look at the splinter in your brother’s eye but don’t notice the beam of wood in your own eye?”
Matthew 7:1-3 (CSB)
A peach is a very nice treat to eat, either on it’s own or as part of a fruit salad. But it is important that peaches are handled with care, as they bruise easily and a badly bruised peach is not so nice to eat. So perhaps we need to think about the peach principle when we consider how well we treat the people we come into contact with. Because the same applies—rough handling can bruise people deep inside. With a peach you can see the damage on the surface, with a person sometimes you can, sometimes you can’t. In a world that can be harsh, difficult and unforgiving, a gentle person who encourages and supports people stands out.
The greatest example of the peach principle was Jesus Christ. Time and again during his physical lifetime he treated people with gentleness and compassion, made them feel loved and cared for. A few examples include the woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-11); a despised tax collector, Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-9); the treatment of Mary and Martha at the raising of Lazarus from the dead (John 11:1-44); and a man with leprosy ( Matthew 8:1-4).
As Christians, the peach principle should guide all our relationships with people, following the example of Jesus. It is so easy to be harsh and judgmental, sometimes without even realising it. So often we judge by appearances, being kinder and gentler to a slim person dressed smartly, with short hair and no tattoos, compared with someone who is overweight, dressed rather badly, with untidy long hair and covered in tattoos. Christ would see the person, but do we? Or do we see the external appearance only, and react accordingly (James 2:1-4)?
In many ways this is one of the great challenges for us as Christians in our daily life—how do we treat the people we meet, whether our family, people at school or work, in a social setting, or at church? Our loving God wants us to have a close, personal relationship with him and through that relationship we can overcome our tendency to judge others and to develop loving and caring relationships with them. So next time you see or eat a peach, remember the peach principle and treat everybody you meet gently so you don’t bruise them.
Loving Father, help us to have the gentleness of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, in all our relationships with people. Help his to see the person, not just the outward appearance. In Jesus’ name we pray.
Study by Keith Hartrick
Grace Communion – Leeds
Garden Village Welfare Association
LEEDS LS15 8LE
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