We seem to think we can take one look at someone, and decide their whole life story.
"Well that guy is black, has his pants almost falling down, is wearing a torn shirt two sizes too big, and sitting on the curb. He must be a troublemaker."
"He's Hispanic, poor, and all his family speaks Spanish. They must be illegal immigrants."
"She's fifteen and pregnant. She must have no self-respect, judgement skills, or morals at all."
"Her mom passed out on the floor drunk last night. She must have some serious parenting issues."
Yeah, that may be true some of the time. But that doesn't give you the right to judge them with one look.
That dude sitting on the curb? His pants are sagging because those are the only pair he can afford.
He used to be a millionaire, but had his inheritance stripped away from him by his so-called friends and family.
They took his money and left him for dead, and when he tried to sue, they hired a million dollar lawyer, and won the case. Now he has to search through dumpsters for his next meal. Not to mention wearing the same change of clothes for weeks on end, sleeping on benches or on pavement most nights, and being without the protection of a home. And we have the nerve to call him a trouble maker.
That family we thought were illegal immigrants? The parents, actually coming from Puerto Rico, sacrificed most of their life savings, in order to become US citizens, leaving little money for anything else. They are now working at a factory for minimum wage. It's the only job that would hire them. With both parents working, they barely make enough money to put food on the table. On top of all this, despite their official American citizenship, people won't hire them, or even associate them, still thinking they're illegal immigrants. Because of other people's prejudices, this family is barely able to make a living. And at the moment, it doesn't appear to be getting any better.
The girl we believed had no self-respect, morals, or judgement skills? She was raped, and then became pregnant. But because she doesn't believe in abortion, she is the expectant mother newborn of a baby girl. Despite the name-calling, the dirty looks, the rumors, and even being kicked out of her house by her own family, she is committed to doing everything to give this child the life she deserves. But now that she's living on her own, with no home, little money, and a broken cell phone, that's going to be pretty hard.
That other girl's mom that passed out on the floor? She's single mother trying to raise four kids, all teenagers. As a child, her parents were constantly arguing, and never showed her how to be a mother, or take care of kids in general. With the headache from her frustrating job, the stress from the numerous parenting books, and the drama coming left and right from her deteriorating intermediate and extended family, she needed an escape. That escape came from alcohol.
It eventually came to the point to where her son found her passed out on her bedroom floor, with an alcoholic beverage in her hand.
Completely lost, confused, and broken, she doesn't know what to do, or where to turn. And to top it off, thoughts of suicide have been slowly been sneaking into her mind.
I'm not trying to condemn us, I'm trying to open our eyes. There is a world of people out there, that need hope. They need to hope of Jesus. They don't need to be preached a sermon on how horrible people they are, or how bad their situation is. They need to be told of the hope that Jesus brings. More than just the hope of salvation, but the hope of a new life, here on Earth. A life where God is in complete control. A life where your savior walks right along side you. A life where you know that you're not alone.
We have that hope. And it's selfish to keep it to ourselves. Those stories up there are just examples I made up, but it's very possible they're reflecting a situation someone is going through right now. We need to share our hope with those people, the ones who are searching for it, and the ones who desperately need it.
We can't do that, if we let what we think about them get in the way.
Jesus didn't judge people by their appearance when he was on earth. He judged by them by their hearts.
If Jesus didn't judge people at a first glance, why should we?
"Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.” (ESV)
Have a great day and God bless!