Haven’t we all misjudged something, or someone at times in our lives? Surely I’m not the only one who obviously has a little trouble misjudging distance—but in what other ways can we misjudge? Misjudged is defined by Merriam-Webster as: to estimate (something, such as an amount, distance, etc.) incorrectly, to have an unfair opinion about (someone), to estimate wrongly. We can misjudge distance, misjudge the cost of groceries, or the new roof, the quality of a movie or a book; we can misjudge depth of the snowfall or the ocean floor. One look at the sunshine can lead me to misjudge the temperature greatly in the winter months. I know many who misjudge time and are always running late; in fact, we always add “The Beckwith Factor” for my sweet sister and her family when they tell us an arrival time. J In so many ways, we can misjudge something, but am I the only one who has misjudged someone?
While I try hard to believe the best of people and not misjudge others, there have been times I’ve discovered the hard way that I was placing trust in the wrong person. Although we must be careful to not have an “unfair opinion of someone,” we must also be aware and remember that we are instructed to be a good judge of character and not to be misled, because “Bad company corrupts good character” (1 Corinthians 15:33 NIV). This is a good verse to pause for a moment and ask ourselves: “Am I the bad company or am I the good character? Do I help others live according to what God desires or do I corrupt them from His truth? Am I leading others into a deeper relationship with Christ, or away from Him? What is good character?”
Character is defined as “one of the attributes or features that make up and distinguish an individual. The way someone thinks, feels, and behaves: someone's personality. Character is who you really are. The real you. The you when no one is watching. Abraham Lincoln said: “Character is like a tree and reputation its shadow. The shadow is what we think it is and the tree is the real thing.” John Wooden offered this advice, ““Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” I once heard someone say if you want to know whether your reputation and character resemble each other just ask your family. Those who know you behind closed doors are the ones who can answer that question. Do your words match your life?
While I may have torn up the mailbox door a bit, Pat, the handyman, was able to take a tool and bend it back into shape. She looks almost as good as before our collision; in fact, I think a few marks and a dent brought a little bit of character to the old mailbox door. Life has a way of building character in each of us as well. God allows testing and trials in our lives to build our character and refine us into His image. Paul wrote to us in Romans chapter five that we could “glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope” (v 3-4 NKJV). He went on to say that: “hope doesn’t disappoint because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (v 5).
God has a way of taking His tools and doing what only He can do to reshape us when we become crumpled by the bends, dents and dings we experience in life. But the decision always remains ours as to whether we will allow the collisions to corrupt us into bad, bitter company, or allow them to develop our character into one that continues to draw others to Him. If you were to take an inventory of your life, what would you discover? Have you been misjudged by others incorrectly? Or have you misjudged the distance between the real you and the one Christ has called you to be?
 (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/misjudge n.d.)
 (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/character n.d.)