Yesterday I asked Do You Really Know Me?, and then highlighted that we can often know people for many years, but in reality not really know anything about them.
When we look at someone, we all (often subconsciously) judge them or put a label on them. Based on how little we often know about people we’ve known and spoken to for years, isn’t it quite ridiculous that just from seeing someone for a few minutes we think we can put a label on them.
Maybe the labels we put on people are positive ones, e.g. happy, friendly, welcoming etc. But often I think we tend to look for the negative in people. e.g. By labelling them unhappy, depressed, distant, unloving etc.
Just last week I was the subject of just such an incident – Last week I was on a training course with a number of my colleagues, and at various points we broke into small groups to discuss or work through some examples. Well on one occasion (having been in the same group for the previous discussion) we were put into groups again to discuss another area, and I was informed that “you have to lead this discussion because you didn’t look very happy during the last one”.
I would have happily led the discussion if it hadn’t been for the reason I was being told I had to lead the discussions! Had anyone bothered to ask me why I hadn’t seemed very happy during the previous discussions? Had I told anyone that I was unhappy at the way the previous discussions were led?
The answer to both these questions was definitely No! If anyone had bothered to ask me why I didn’t seem very happy, I would have told them why – I wasn’t feeling too good and was in a lot of pain.
Why am I telling you all this? Well I just want to highlight how easy it can be to make wrong assumptions about people. Assumptions which can then lead to things being said or done which hurt or upset others.
God doesn’t judge us on what He sees on the outside, it’s the inside that’s important. So I’d urge each of us to try not to judge others on how they look, talk to folk and find out about the real person inside…don’t jusge others from the outside, we’d hate it if they judged us simply by what they see!