|Posted on September 23, 2019 at 6:05 AM|
Do you judge by appearances?
What do you think when you see a person dressed in dirty clothes? How about when you notice someone who smiles but has rotting or missing teeth? What crosses your mind when you see someone who is missing a limb, hunched over in a wheelchair or exhibiting unusual behavior? Or what if the person has a different skin color, dresses in clothing that you are not accustomed to seeing, or drives a rusty old clunker car?
Chance are you make a quick judgement call on that person based solely on their appearance.
Sadly, we’ve all been there. Only a few nights ago during my examen I realized I had made a poor judgement that day about a person I had just met, solely because of his way of speaking. Because of this judgement, I failed to take the time to talk to him or get to know him. Who knows what I may have missed because of my bias?
We have all made judgements based on what we see or hear when we first meet someone. When someone doesn’t present a good “first impression” or the perfect ideal we expect we tend to think less of that person. We humans have so many biases – we so easily make judgements just because a person has certain characteristics.
But things are not always as they seem. We have no way of knowing just by looking at someone what they have experienced as a person. We do not know what is going on in their minds, what kind of disposition they have, whether they are suffering from a hidden condition, or what their intelligence level may be. It is only be giving the person a chance, and getting to know them, that we come to learn what they are really like inside. If you merely judge a book by its cover, you may miss the amazing story inside.
I know several people who have a physical handicap but who are persevering and funny. I also know many people who struggle with depression and autism, yet they are beautiful, creative people. Others I know would never win a beauty contest, but their hearts are warm and generous. If I had judged them merely on their appearance and hadn’t taken the time to get to know these people, I would never have had the joy of their friendship.
We can also look to history to find stories of many people who were “dismissed” due to their appearance or actions but who had something amazing to give to the world (Albert Einstein, Mr. & Mrs. Leland Stanford and Susan Boyle come to mind.) Perhaps you can think of people in your own life who may not measure up to the world’s “ideals” but who bring love and joy to your life. Every person is a child of God, and has the right to be valued just for who they are, not what they look like.
My challenge for you today is to think about someone you have met or whom you know but perhaps have ignored due to their outward appearance or their actions. I encourage you to look deeper, and maybe get to know that person a little better. Try to uncover something wonderful about that person, something unique that God has placed within that person. You could be immensely blessed!
Have a blessed Monday!
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