Sunday, April 20, 2008

Judge Not

We have a friend at church who gets very defensive when someone asks the question, "What do you do for a living"? I suppose that some people actually are curious as to what his occupation is, but there are others who use that question to answer another --"How much money do you make"? I have never really thought much about it until lately, but the truth is that most of us judge people (at least to some degree) by what their job is, their education, and how much money they make. Aren't we all more impressed by someone who says they are a brain surgeon that by someone who is a janitor? It isn't that the brain surgeon is a better person, but we know that someone who has gone through medical school and performs intricate surgery on the brain is a pretty sharp cookie.

My husband is the only child born to parents who were almost 40 when he was born. He is now 41. His parents are retired of course, but they do own a car wash and some apartment buildings, which means he and I have to help them take care of their businesses. With a car wash comes a lot of trash. Unfortunately, the trash will not empty itself. I know you are jealous that I get to be the trash lady, but don't hate - it isn't as glamorous as it sounds. Anyway, lately I have noticed that when I am emptying trash, people treat me differently than they normally do. When I am 'Beth the Trash Lady' people treat me as though I work for them. They look at me with pity - I call it the 'poor girl has to empty the trash for a living -she should have gotten an education' look. Little do they know that I am college educated and I don't have to empty trash for a living, I do it to help my father-in-law.

Recently, while hubs was working at the new house, he decided to take a break and go to a furniture store in the downtown area of our town. He was wearing old boots and work clothes when he went in. He was checking on a price for a bedroom suite that we wanted to buy for our new house. The lady who owns the store apparently did not see him as a 'real' potential customer because of his attire. We ended up buying the furniture from a different store. Last week I went to this same furniture store just to look around and waste some time while I waited to pick Lake up from school. I was dressed in my "uniform" - blue jean capris, sandals, and a summer shirt. When I told her that my hubs had come in to price some bedroom furniture, she remembered him and she immediately 'wrote me off' as well. I have to say it gave me great joy to tell her that we purchased the bedroom suite from another store (I wanted to say "from a store who wanted our business", but I didn't).

These experiences have really made me think. Do I treat people differently because I perceive them to be 'more important' than others? Do I judge people by their outward appearance or by their profession? Do I assign more 'worth' to those who have more material possessions?

Most importantly, do I judge people outwardly when I really need to be looking at their hearts?

My point here is : Looks can be deceiving.

Sometimes, things are not as they seem. Sometimes people are not as they seem. Some people have the ability to mask their true inward feelings. There are people who go to church every Sunday, serve themselves into the ground, but are lost and on their way to hell. I daresay each of have friends that are not as sure of their salvation as we are. We see these people in the pews every week and we assume that they are saved, but maybe they are just dressed as one who is saved. Maybe their 'clothes' hide who they really are. Maybe they know all the right words and say all the churchy phrases we like to hear, but do they really know Jesus?

Or what about those women (and men) who don't go to your own church. You know the ones I am talking about. The ones who go to a church that you know holds to beliefs that are not Biblical (yes, that includes denominations that are very common - does your denomination's beliefs line up with the Bible?). Churches that support homosexuality, that allow gay women to stand in the pulpit each week, that don't believe in the inerrancy of the Bible, those who think its okay to go out drinking on Saturday night as long as you are at church on Sunday, those who tickle the ears instead of preaching the Truth, those that are more of a social club than a real God-honoring church.........remind you of anyone you know?

I think we all know people who talk the talk, but don't walk the walk. Even the person who seems to have it most together can go to hell. Look at Oprah, for years she spoke of her Christian faith, yet now we see it was a fraud - - and who has it outwardly more together than Oprah?What we have to remember is that regardless of occupation, dress, appearance, intelligence, those who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ will split hell wide open.


Fran said...

Dern flu is right Bethanne. I would love to go on and on about how horrible it was but thats pretty pathetic so I won't. ;)

Yep. Don't judge. You just never know. Thats all I gotta say. Who are we anyway to put ourselves all "up there?"

Good word today. Maybe we'll all stop and think the next time we think we are all that.

I hope Christ is seen first in me and then the cute, funny, smart, giving girl that I am comes next! :)

Love ya~

Stephanie (Ocean Mommy) said...

This is SOOOOO true!

We experienced some of the "judging" right here in our neighborhood this weekend...People who didn't look like they belonged, just looking at some of the houses for sale....It broke my heart as a neighbor knocked on my door to "warn" me that there was a rough looking crowd....They weren't rough looking at all, in fact they had family who already live here! They were just walking through the houses for sale...LIKE THE REST OF US DO!!!! reminded me to never judge a book by the cover! You have no idea what is on the inside.

I think it's pretty cool that you help out your in-laws like that..


Eddie said...

Good Word. Unfortunately, you speak to all peoples. Judging makes us feel better about ourselves. We never judge except to tear someone down which in turn supposedly builds us up. When we feel built up, then we feel vindicated in tearing someone else down. I think Jesus said it best in the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector in Luke 18: 9-14.Read it now.
There! that should stop us from judging: but it don't. By the way
Trash lady" Your Dad really loves you bunches.

I'm Sadie said...

Very well said. We live in a small town, so around here we aren't judged, but when we go other places, we are. My dear hubby is a hard working man, always in boots, and I can relate to what happened to your hubby. It's so hard sometimes, and so rude.

I think it's awesome that you don't mind getting dirty and taking out the trash!

Joyce said...

Hi, I just found you through T and SuperB's Mom.
I so agree with you about judging! I have two jobs, one as a "professional" with a college degree, he other as a school crossing guard (for which I need to dress for the weather, not style!). People are sometimes very surprised to find out they have a crossing guard who can sing opera! And I do get treated differently according to the way I'm dressed. I do try not to get aggrevated. My grandmother always taught us that any job that needed to be done was worth doing, and the worker who did it was worthy of respect. I'm trying to pass that on to my family.

Abby said...

i know what you mean...i was a housekeeper for 2 summers and then worked at the same camp for 2 more summers on the worship team...and it was amazing the differences in responses and comments thrown my way..

now when i tell people i STILL clean houses and change little kids diapers for a living even though i have a teaching degree, they are not amused.

Anonymous said...

People are very Judgemental...I try to treat people how I want to be treated...Doesn't matter the clothing...If Im running to Walmart, it may be in my cleaning clothes..We over look alot of people..My husband & I are judged alot because of our "skin color" doesn't bother us, we just chalk it up to people being Ignorant..Not Stupid, Just Ignorant..What people tend to forget is We are all Children of God..I have friends who live in apartments, and I have friends who have much nicer houses then mine..such as your house....Material things don't make the people it's all about what's in their hearts that count, When everyone starts believing that..This world will not be so Evil! GREAT POST! BTW...Did you see my pic of the snake...Check out my post on "Thanks" it was the same day you had the dream about the snakes....

Mommyluann said...

True True True and more True.

Carol said...

Wow! This was such a powerful and awesome post! It is so true! I know we all judge people based on their outward appearance from time to time. This is really going to make me think twice from now on. Thanks for the reminder that ugly hearts can live in any body and so can beautiful ones.

Greg P. said...

I think it is just human nature to make assumptions based on only what we see. I know I've done it many times. I don't think it is necessarily wrong. If your truly judging someone's character based on assumptions then that can be dangerous. Very good post. Does make me more conscious of how I react to people.

{patty} said...

I am very made to make assumptions about people, I don't normally judge them with an envious or mean-spirited heart, I just assume things about them. Does that make sense??

I have had several situations like some of those you talked about. I think it is interesting the reactions we sometimes get when we tell people that Chuck works for Wal Mart. lol

Anyways, I am so bad to assume about people at church.........I really appreciaite your post. I hope that I will stop myself from turning assumptions in judgements.

I used to be one of those people disguised as a Christian. At the age of 30 I surprised a lot of people when I truly got saved. I had fooled so many people except for myself, I knew the truth.

LynnSC said...

I just happened upon your blog tonight... I jumped over from Amanda's. I hate to admit that I am as guilty as anyone on this subject. Dog-gone flesh.
I read almost all of you post... loved them all. I'm gonna bookmark you... and visit again. Lynn

Anonymous said...

Had to keep mum on what I wanted to say.....

Wait until you are around the military crowd----it's weird how all the rank stuff becomes an issue within the church too.

Rochelle said...

Excellent post. Oh... I could go on and on about this subject, but I won't. I will say that some people who are continual "judgers" also live their much of their lives trying to impress people because they think others judge as much as they do. It really is sort of sad. Great post.

He Knows My Name said...

good thoughts here bethanne.

i read the world used to quote John 3:16 the most now they quote Matthew 7:1 the most.

i'm just putting this out there.

why do you think they have changed?

have we as a church been judgemental to the world?

have we lived in our ivory towers too long?

do we refuse to look the angry, stinky, cussing, hardware wearing, crack showing people i the eye and show love and mercy?

Christ will be the judge of all, we just need to love in His name.

when i am successful at this it is a supernatural thing. PTL

hugs ~janel

jcdisciple said...

This is so true. I am guilty...we all are. Matthew 7:2 is the fearful thing...For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. God is a fair and just God...we should be also. However, mercy is also His should be ours.

Thanks for the reminder.

Kelly S. said...

Hey Bethanne!

Long time, no comment- I have been crazy busy, and we just had spring break.
Very good word....I am guilty of this, and I experience it. My son has Down's and automatically people assume things by looking at him. Most people have positive reactions to him. He is a toddler (ahem....and very cute), but I have experienced a prejudice that I was unaware of untill he came along. I love this verse:
You are worthy, O Lord,
To receive glory and honor and power;
For You created all things,
And by Your will they exist and were created. Rev. 4.11

Are you going to EWomen at FH in May? I am planning to be there.

Shelley said...

Good post--we have all been the dispenser and the recipient of this reality. I think we need to realize our minds are going to jump to conclusions, but to be intentional about not reacting out of those initial thoughts about others. It really is a reminder that we are created to be dependent on God--for everything and in every area!

BethAnne said...

I am sure that you are the recipient of judgement - our Sunday School teacher has a son with down's and they have told stories about their experiences with prejudice - crazy.
I am not planning to go to the Ewomen thing because when we ordered tix (our church) I wasnt sure what would be going on (the kids, the new house, t-ball, etc) and I was afraid to commit at the time (my hubs works shift work and with 2 kids that is hard to plan things at times)

AnnaElizabeth said...

Full time missions? I'm not sure. I'll know more when I get back from this one.

And about the blog: Very true, Aunty dearest. I am tested every day to judge people.. especially at work. But I try to look at everyone, remembering that Christ died for them, just like He died for me. None of us deserve His sacrifice, but He gave Himself to us. Not because we somehow could deserve it, but because He loves us, and wants us to know Him intimately.

Love you!!

Alana said...

I try very hard not to let this kind of thinking invade my brain, but I do find myself thinking things about someone that I end up being ashamed of. Who am I to do that? Seriously.

I'm glad you bought the furniture from another store, that is one of my biggest pet peeves...when sales associates disregard you for what you are wearing. I hope it wasn't the free Coca-Cola place that did that, though.