A Lesson from Luther

A story told by Mike Johnson

Luther was quite slow from a mental standpoint. He was well liked in the community and was easy to get along with. However, some of the young men in the community just could not resist having some fun with him from time to time. At the little store where the guys always "hung out," they would play a little game with Luther. They would say, "Luther, here is a dime and here is a nickel. Which one do you want?" Luther would always choose the nickel, which was, of course, the largest coin in size. At this point, the boys would all get a big laugh.

A few years later, one of the young men, who had moved away, returned to his hometown for a visit. Eventually, he made his way to the little store. He saw Luther at a distance and asked someone if people still played the little game with Luther and if he always chose the nickel. They told him that people still played the game with him from time to time, and "Yes, Luther still always chose the nickel." The young man then called Luther over and played the game, and, as usual, Luther chose the nickel. However, the young man felt a little bad about it this time (maybe he had matured some), so he decided to explain things to Luther. "A dime," he said, "is smaller in size than a nickel, but is worth more in value. A dime is worth ten cents while a nickel is only worth five cents. So you should always choose the dime." Luther looked at the man very earnestly and said, "I know that, but if I choose the dime, they will stop doing it."

The boys thought they were so smart and that Luther was so dumb. Who actually showed a lack of intelligence? It certainly was not Luther. He was getting the nickels. He was smarter than they thought.

The story about Luther illustrates a very important principle. It teaches that things are not always as they appear. A person, an idea, or a concept may appear to be unintelligent and useless to some. However, a person's view is not correct simply because he thinks it is the correct or enlightened view.

For Further Study

Verses to Consider

  • Job 34:19
  • Job 38:1-2
  • Proverbs 9:7-8
  • Proverbs 24:23
  • Matthew 7:1-5
  • Matthew 7:15-20
  • Matthew 9:10-13
  • Luke 6:37-38
  • John 7:22-24
  • Romans 2:1-3
  • Romans 12:16
  • Romans 14:4-13
  • Romans 16:17
  • I Corinthians 4:1-7
  • Galatians 6:1-2
  • I Thessalonians 5:21-22
  • I Timothy 5:21
  • James 4:11-12
  • I John 4:1
  • Jude 8-10

Questions to Ponder

  1. Is all judgment about other people wrong?
  2. What makes a judgment about another right or wrong?
  3. If someone does something differently than you would have done, does that make it wrong?
  4. What can make our judgments inaccurate?
  5. What can we do to make better judgments about other people?