Do not judge according to appearance... John 7:24a (NAS)
It was Monday morning and Mindy and Stella had gotten together at the park to talk. As they strolled over to the swings sets, Stella caught a glimpse of someone on the far side of the park and froze. Grabbing Mindy’s arm she whispered “Do you see him?”
Slowly Mindy turned her head to see who Stella was talking about but she didn’t see anyone. “You must be seeing things again.” she told Stella, “There’s no one there.” “But I’m sure I saw him.” Stella told Mindy, “And he looked just as weird as when I saw him yesterday at church.”
“Yesterday at church?” Mindy thought out loud. “You’re not talking about that weird looking kid that sat in the back are you?” “I sure am.” Stella told her. “I always thought Harold was weird but that kid was really weird. Did you see what color his hair was?” “You’re right, Stella.” Mindy told her, “He is weirder than you brother, not even Harold would dye his hair orange.”
“Are you talking about me?” came a familiar voice. It was Harold who had snuck up behind the girls and was listening to their conversation. “Hi, Harold, Bye Harold.” came his sister’s reply. “We’re talking about that weird kid in church on Sunday.” Mindy told Harold. “You mean the weird one with orange hair and sunglasses?” Harold asked.
So, you saw him too?” Mindy asked Harold. “Of course I did,” Harold told her, “How could you not see him?” “Did you find out who he was?” Mindy asked. “No,” Harold told her, “He left too quickly after church.” As Harold and Mindy started talking about how weird the kid was, Stella started waving and pointing “There he is, There he is.”
As everyone turned to look, Stella yelled out “Hey, what’s your name?” When the weird kid heard Stella he quickly disappeared. “Who does he think he is?” Stella said with anger in her voice, “No boy walks away from me without telling me his name.” “I’ll go see if I can catch him.” Harold said and took of following him.
“Are you going to follow him too?” Mindy asked Stella. “Are you crazy?” Stella replied, “I don’t want to be any where around him.” “But,” Mindy replied, “I thought you wanted to know his name.” “I do,” Stella answered, “It’s Harold I don’t want to be around.”
How do we see the people around us? Suppose someone comes into your church meeting wearing nice clothes and a gold ring. At the same time a poor person comes in wearing old, dirty clothes. You show special attention to the one wearing nice clothes and say, “Please, sit here in this good seat.“ But you say to the poor person, “Stand over there,“ or, “Sit on the floor by my feet.“ What are you doing? You are making some people more important than others, and with evil thoughts you are deciding that one person is better. - James 2:2-4 (NCV)
Many time in the Bible we are cautioned about judging others.
- James 4:12 - God is the only Lawmaker and Judge. He is the only One who can save and destroy. So it is not right for you to judge your neighbor. (NCV)
- John 7:24 - "Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment." (NAS)
- Matthew 7:1-2 - "Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. (ESV)
- Romans 2:1 - Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. (ESV)
Samuel was a prophet in the Old Testament who looked at someone and thought he looked good enough to be king but he forgot to look at the person the way God does. Now the Lord said to Samuel, “You have mourned long enough for Saul. I have rejected him as king of Israel, so fill your flask with olive oil and go to Bethlehem. Find a man named Jesse who lives there, for I have selected one of his sons to be my king.” But Samuel asked, “How can I do that? If Saul hears about it, he will kill me.” “Take a heifer with you,” the Lord replied, “and say that you have come to make a sacrifice to the Lord. Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you which of his sons to anoint for me.” So Samuel did as the Lord instructed. When he arrived at Bethlehem, the elders of the town came trembling to meet him. “What’s wrong?” they asked. “Do you come in peace?” “Yes,” Samuel replied. “I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Purify yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.” Then Samuel performed the purification rite for Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice, too. When they arrived, Samuel took one look at Eliab and thought, “Surely this is the Lord’s anointed!” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”- 1 Samuel 16:1-6 (NLT)
I found this poem in my Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations by C. R. Hembree.
I dreamed death came the other night:
And heaven's gates swung wide.
With kindly grace an angel
Ushered me inside.
And there, to my astonishment,
Stood folks I'd known on earth.
Some I'd judged and labeled
Unfit or of little worth.
Indignant words rose to my lips,
But never were set free;
For every face showed stunned surprise...
No one expected me!
Here's Something to Ponder
- In what way would you like to be judged?
- How are you seeing those around yourself?