Ever since I was little I’ve been surrounded by Christians. My parents work for a Christian organization and I went to elementary school at a private Christian school, so I never interacted with non-believers until I moved to Italy. However, I expected to be around non-believers. We were there to be missionaries after all. So it really wasn’t until a month ago, when I started going to an American public school, that I was surrounded by non-Christians.
There have been lots of challenges so far, but one thing I keep calling myself out on (yet can’t seem to quit doing) is judging others. I find myself constantly judging others and it can can get confusing. I’ll give you an example. Let’s say a girl is sitting in front of me in math class. The first thing I think when I see her is how immodest her clothes are. She must not be a Christian. Later that day I see her in the Christian club that meets at our school. I guess I was wrong. Then I hear her using a lot of cuss words when she’s talking with her friends. I guess she’s not? But then I see her at church on Sunday!
See how messy judging can get? I don’t know what this girl’s heart is like, but I immediately assume she’s not a Christian by the way she acts. Now, if her actions don’t match up with her beliefs then there is a problem, but all of us are sinners and we all fall short. My outer actions might seem more “pure” than others at school, but I have a lot of other sinful habits that might not always be present.
Whenever I start thinking judgmental thoughts about someone this verse always pops into my head: But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)
If someone is committing a sin, whether it be through their language or clothing or something else, they are committing a sin, but that doesn’t warrant my judgment on them. That’s God’s job. We need to look at others as God does and appreciate others as unique creations before immediately labeling them for sinful behavior. This week I encourage you to love on others instead of judging them, to give them grace instead of dissaproving frowns, and to remind yourself that you’re sinful too and it’s only by God’s mercy that you’re His.