November 21, 2015

Top Example: Understand Before you Judge




It is soooo easy to pass judgment on members of (reasonable) groups we don’t understand. Some people cause us to shake our heads and say, “Huh? I don’t get it. That doesn’t even make sense. How can they think like that?”

John 7:24 states, “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”  How can we actually relate to someone unless/until we have probed beneath their outer shell? Sometimes, we have to go through exactly what a person has gone through in order to fully understand them.

The True Motivation

What really makes any of us tick?  We are all more complicated than we appear on the surface. There’s a lifetime of history behind every seemingly random word or action:
  • Triumphs and sorrows
  • Illness and health
  • Cultural and/or religious training
  • Level of education
  • Social acceptance or marginalization
  • Family Training--right or wrong

If we don’t know the full motivation behind someone’s thoughts or actions, do we have a right to evaluate them? I say we don’t--aside from criminal and ethical matters. (Since I am a religious person, I throw certain religious guidelines under the “ethical” category.)


Touched by an Angel

I mentioned this dramatic television series in a recent blog post about accepting others’ hidden limitations. Today, I would like to refer to an episode I recently watched, called “There, but for the Grace of God,”.  As the story begins, the star of the show, the angel named Monica, is happily congratulating herself on successfully concluding a case. Tess, her supervisor, tries to ground her by warning her against pride. Tess says that all of Monica’s jobs won’t be so easy.

Monica learns the truth of this when she is introduced to her next assignment: a homeless man named Peter. The angel flippantly asks if she will be sent to  work at a homeless shelter, or be some sort of counselor. Tess says that Monica needs to learn true humility. Aside from that, the only way to help this man will be to walk in his shoes, literally.

The boastful, drop-dead gorgeous, fashionable young lady with perfect hair and make-up is instantly transformed.  She becomes a grimy street person wearing rags and a thin coat in the middle of a harsh winter. Like the man with whom she is supposed to form a true emotional connection, she now has no money, no home, and no job. Together, they fight ostracism, being misunderstood, hopelessness, and all the other facets of life on the streets.

Finally, Peter opens up enough to tell Monica how he ended up where he is: his wife died of cancer. They ignored the warning signs until it was too late. He lost everything. Now, he lives on the streets, his feet have huge blisters, and he tries to wash car windshields to bring in a few bucks. Once Monica hears this story, she understands Peter much better.

Quotes on Withholding Judgment from searchquotes.com

“Do you know what it’s like to be me? Go through something not everyone can see: Do you know what it’s like to walk in my shoes? Please stop judging me simply ‘cause I’m not you…”—Ryaj Aldardo Catayas
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“Walk a day in my shoes, feel the pain, loss, sadness, guilt, remorse, and the heartache, then I dare you to judge me!”—Unknown quotes
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“Before you judge my life, my past or my character, walk in my shoes, walk the path I have traveled, live my sorrow, my doubts, my fear, my pain & my laughter…Remember, everyone has a story, when u have lived my life then u can judge me.”—Hemant Smarty quotes
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“You may know my name, but not my story nor my pain nor my tears either. No one can handle a half of what I have been through in life. So don’t judge me.”—Unknown quotes
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My Conclusion


Please see more about relating to people in my book, Accept No Trash Talk: Overcoming the Odds.


How have you accepted others today?