Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged. ~Matthew 7:1-2
Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. ~1 John 4:7-8 (NLT)
Almost everyone has heard the saying, “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” It’s true. In order to discover the story it has to tell, you have to look inside the book. You have to open it up and read all the pages.
A couple of weeks ago, I walked into a room and saw a woman sitting in there with an unfriendly and frowning face. At least that’s how I saw it. We had spoken only briefly a couple of times and I didn’t know her well at all. Although I had limited information, I formed an opinion and decided that she was not my favorite person. It’s hard to admit, but I even considered going to one of my friends and talking about the difficulty I was having liking this woman. Thankfully, something or Someone stopped me before I opened my mouth, spilling out words of unfair judgment.
Later that same day, I was given the opportunity to talk with and listen to this woman, as she shared some things that had been happening in her life. The conversation had more depth than any of our previous conversations. I discovered that we had some common interests, and as I l continued to listen, I began to see her in a very different way. God had guided me to look past her outward demeanor so that I could see the kind woman of faith that He could see. He helped me listen to her heart and I am thankful.
I don’t want to be the kind of woman I was on the day I just shared with you. I don’t want first impressions or misinterpretations to have a negative impact on the way I relate to people. I want to see past things like weight, clothing choices, hair color, and facial expressions. I want to reflect the love of Christ into the lives of others on a daily basis. I want to see others the way God sees them and to love others the way God has loved me.
The Scriptures above remind us that this is what God expects of us. The words make it clear that if we judge others, we will be judged in the same way. It also makes it clear that if we are not truly loving others with the kind of love that has been shown to us, we can’t call ourselves children of God. And I want to be called a child of God.
Here is a quote that I thought was worth sharing: The least amount of judging we can do, the better off we are. ~Michael J. Fox
Let’s all remember to look inside the book before we decide whether or not we like the story.