We all make judgements. Can we find peace in making them?
Why is it when we first see someone we instantly judge them? I know that we don’t mean to judge them. Our brain instantly analyzes the clothes they are wearing, their hairstyle, their face/attractiveness, if they look friendly, too much make-up or not enough, how they are standing, the words coming out of their mouth and so many other things depending on the situation. We take in all of this information to make an instant assumption about the individual.
It is a well known fact that when we see someone for the first time we make up our opinion of that person within seconds. I don’t know about you but this makes me wonder how people perceive me. It also makes me feel awful for some of the wrong judgements I have made about other people. I feel awful for some of the thoughts that have went through my head. They were things that I hate the Lord heard me think.
A few years ago I really struggled with these bad thoughts. I would see strangers out in public and immediately categorize them into not-so-nice stereotypes. Finally, one day I realized that I had a problem.
What did I do about it? I started praying.
I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.1 Timothy 2:1-6 KJV
I realized that our “enemy” had been encouraging me to have these thoughts. Before I realized it I was thinking thoughts that probably shaped my thoughts for the rest of that day. I prayed a lot. Then I prayed some more. Finally the bad thoughts turned to empathy and compassion for strangers. I found peace from this curse that the devil placed in my mind. I’m sure that he was devastated when I realized his plan, turned to prayer and God took the heavy judgment from me.
I no longer let my mind think bad thoughts about others, instead I felt love. I felt love, because they are also one of God’s creatures. I felt peace, because now I could see that deep down these people are like me. I felt grace, because I could be in that situation. It reminds me of how blessed I am to not be in their situation. I find myself praying for them now instead of making unfair judgements. When I am out in public now, my mind is filled with much more pleasant thoughts.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.Philippians 4:8 KJV
Now, let’s turn the scales a little bit. Let’s think about what others opinions of us can do. Our impressions are so important for many different aspects of our lives. Our impressions with work situations can mean the difference between favor with our leadership, our colleagues, our customers, and the public. Our impressions with family, friends, and church members can mean the difference between relationships, event invites and so much more. Praying for the discernment of others can play a large hand in how others perceive us.
Let’s pray that when we meet someone our first impression leaves them knowing that:
We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.2 Corinthians 5:20 NIV
If we accomplish this then we know that they will trust us, feel our love for them, feel our empathy for others, know we are kind and above all else they will know we must be a Christian.
I hope that you enjoyed this post and that this inspires you to think differently when we see strangers or are meeting someone for the first time. If you are experiencing problems with judgement similar to what I had, I hope that you can turn to prayer instead of giving in to what the “enemy” would want you to think.
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Have a blessed day.