Have you ever looked at someone you don’t even know, and within seconds, find that you have summed them up and placed them into a little box? Maybe it is the way they talk, the words they use, the viewpoints they expose. Maybe it is the way they look or act. I remember a friend in college who had cerebral palsy who mentioned the pain of having people in public treat him like he was a drunk because of the way he talked and walked.
When you really think about someone you’ve spent a lot of time with, don’t you find that they, like most people, are incredibly complex? Endued with talents and limitations, beauty and scars, laughter and sorrow, success and failure, most people are too big and complex to fit into little boxes labeled by a political party, economic status, spiritual views, or other categories we might create.
Certainly, there appears to be those who play out their stereotypes with little deviation. But personally, and thankfully, I haven’t found many people who fit well in those little boxes. And isn’t putting people into boxes often accompanied by our judgment of them? And judging others is not in our job description. That task is best left up to God.
The minute you start judging,
You stop serving
You stop leading
You stop adding value.
– Cy Wakeman
I wonder how our lives would be enhanced if we vowed not to judge those who are different from us in thought, skills, abilities, economics, education, or appearance. What new possibilities will be created when we enlarge our minds and consider the potential of those around us and when we start interacting with each other OUTSIDE the boxes!
Judge not, that you not judged. Matthew 7:1