Have you ever feared the judgment of others? Jesus’ mother, Mary, was judged harshly in her time.

Mary was a teenager with an unplanned pregnancy. Try to imagine what this young girl must’ve felt. She would’ve been terrified to tell her parents, to tell her community, to raise the child.

In her culture, her supposed mistake brought shame on her family, because she wasn’t married. Even worse – her fiancé, Joseph, wasn’t the father of the child. He knew because he’d never slept with her.

Joseph not only forgave Mary. He stood by her side. He joined her in marriage to raise the child as his own. Imagine the judgment he faced. His parents questioned him. His friends mocked him for devoting himself to a girl like Mary, a girl who they believed had lost her virginity to another man. But they didn’t know the whole story. They didn’t listen.

Despite the judgment, Mary and Joseph loved each other, and they loved their son, Jesus, a boy who would change the world.

If you’re facing unfair judgment, ignore the naysayers. Seek out someone who’s willing to sit down and listen. And if you find yourself scowling at someone who’s done something you don’t agree with, try to put yourself in their shoes. You may be missing an important piece of their story.

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