There she was ahead of me in the grocery store—a woman of advancing years wearing a miniskirt and other attire fit for a teenager. What was she thinking? As I found myself engaged in criticism of this total stranger, my conscience began to prick me. Being judgmental of my fellow man was no way to be a practicing Christian, a follower of the Master, Christ Jesus, who taught “Judge not, that ye be not judged” (Matt. 7:1).
I stopped pushing my shopping cart and just stood still for a few moments, asking God how to correct my fault-finding. The answer came in an unexpected command: “Restore her fourfold!” I recognized that these words were said by the Bible character Zacchaeus (see Luke, chap. 19). He was a short man, a tax collector, who made the effort to climb a tree to see Jesus as he was passing by. Jesus told him to come down and that on that very day they would have some time together. Zacchaeus was so delighted that he offered to give half of his possessions to the poor, and added, “If I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.”
Hadn’t I been guilty of false accusations, or at least opinionated thoughts about one of God’s children? How could I restore her fourfold? I knew nothing about her. But the command came again: “Restore her fourfold!”