Misjudging appearances.

Matthew 7:1-5 1 "Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

Have you ever misjudged anyone? I have. I used to think this one girl was cold and aloof- to put it in one word- snob. In reality, she was shy and a little uneasy around big groups of people. She is now a dear friend of mine. Another friend (before we were friends) had thought that I didn't like her and I thought she didn't like me... So much misunderstanding and misjudging.

I have a very lovely friend whose nails look like she gets them done all the time. In fact, they're dollar tree glue ons. But she has to tell people they're not the "real fakes" because others think she's spending the big bucks on her nails every week.

My Mom's Mom (my grandmother) looks like a "rich old lady". She's always covered with bling. Lovely rings and earrings and necklaces. She always paints her nails, dresses well and looks like a LADY! She's really beautiful. BUT almost everything she has comes from Wal-Mart. She's not rich. Not in material possessions anyway. She's rich in Christ.

I struggle with being concerned about what other people think. It's so easy to see what we see and think we know and understand. We don't know what people's situation and circumstances are and what is in their hearts.

I want to stop throwing stones. I don't like them thrown at me. I want to assume the best of others and be thought of generously.

But why are we judging?
We have been trained in this culture to judge. Isn't that why people like reality TV so much? Quick give us somebody dysfunctional so we can judge them and feel better about ourselves.

In this culture I feel watched and perpetually judged. I feel the need to explain "my situation" to others. This works in two ways... I feel people think too "highly" of me or I feel they misunderstand me.

Some people have told me that I seem to have it together or at least be holding it together. I quickly respond, "Appearances are deceiving."

And they are.

I don't like the pressure of that image. For one, it's not true. But more acutely, I want to be allowed to fall apart without losing sympathy and social credit.

When Mike and I go to the Cheesecake Factory and we run into people we know, do we really need to tell them that we have a gift card? Why is there this need to have to explain where nice stuff comes from? Do I have tell them that most of my clothes, shoes and almost all of my children's clothes comes from the thrift store? Oh no, what will they think if they see me with a Starbucks in hand?

I don't like this feeling. I want to walk in freedom and stop caring what others think. God knows. He knows what's in my heart. He knows if my actions or thoughts are right or wrong. I'm accountable to Him and Him alone.

When I walk in this freedom I have the comfort of knowing I have friends and family who will let me know when I'm out of line or falling off the rails. I want to love others well by being this kind of friend, who believes the best, and not misjudge them.

Reality is... people aren't held accountable to me. They're responsible to God. So whether their nails are "real fakes", or "fake fakes"... whether the jewelry came from Tiffany's or Dollar General... whether they were given a car or just bought a beautiful SUV we should withhold criticism.

Let's love one another and accept people in the same way Christ has done to us.


Jacque Spruill said…
Thanks for a good word, my friend.
Sarah said…
Well said. Thanks for sharing. Great reminder for me.

We think of your family often and pray for you most nights. Kathryn keeps talking about want to see her friend Samuel again. And she reminds us to pray for him almost every night.
Isabella Hodge said…
AMEN sister!!! I totally identify with feeling like I need to explain things to people, and at the same time I'm convicted because I know I judge so often! thanks for this reminder. xo

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