Sunday, May 19, 2013

John 7:24

"Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment."
John 7:24

So much of the way we learn to interact with the world is based on sight.  We want to "see it to believe it" and we develop so many ways to make decisions based on our senses... but here, God tell us not to Judge according to appearance.  So, if appearance isn't the way to judge, how can we make those decisions that we need to make in our lives?
I think that God addresses this in a lot of ways and in a lot of scriptures.  Sometimes the answer is to not judge at all.  We should love *everyone* and not place one person above another because of appearance or any other reason.  And sometimes the answer is to look deeper.  We tend to look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart... and, as we learn to be more like our Father, we should similarly start looking deeper.
Not that it is easy.  Getting to know people takes time, and effort, and it is easy to screw it up... to put in too little effort, or even too much so that we seem stalkerish. :)  But the idea is to know people better before we can even start to make those sorts of decisions that we usually make quickly, based on appearance.  Underneath the appearance, we all have something to offer to each other.  ... Doesn't mean we all have to be best friends or romantic prospects, but we *are* all worthy of love, and respect.  There is something that we can learn from each person around us, if we are open to it.  No one is worthless or unworthy of our time.
There are of course situations where we need to protect ourselves from abuse or harm, and loving people and forgiving them doesn't always mean that we have to be close to them to do that.  But today, let's work on getting past the appearance and looking deeper at the people around us.  Let's take the opportunity to try to know them, and love them, and learn from them.  And if we're having a problem loving or forgiving, let's as God... who loves us all so deeply, he can show us the good in anyone.  Including ourselves.  Let's not judge ourselves on appearance either. :)

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