“Don’t judge by appearances. Judge what is right”-John 7:23
I came across this verse last night and hit me like a ton of bricks. I couldn’t help but think to myself how applicable this verse is to many life situations and how I can and need to incorporate it into my thought process for many situations.
My first thought when reading this verse was how it’s another way of saying “don’t judge a book by its cover.” I’m am guilty of doing this on more than one occasion; especially when it comes to those who struggle with RBF (resting b***h face). I really do try to not jump to conclusions about people or make judgements without first having a conversation with them because I know what it feels like. Literally, I had this happen to me last night in a distant encounter, which is probably why this verse stuck out to me so much. I made plans with a friend to go to an outdoor free “bash” is what they called it, with live music, vendors, wine, etc. The event was happening close to where I live, a little over half a mile, so I decided to take advantage of the weather and walk. As I was walking across the crosswalk I saw a couple walking towards me, laughing and staring. I thought, no way they’re laughing at what I think they are (me and my walking) but the girl didn’t stop staring even when I locked eyes and stared right back. She then even proceeded to mock my walking to her boyfriend…when I could still SEE them. This girl made a judgement about me with no more than a solid 30-45 second stare. Happens all the time, I’ve learned to just stare back and keep walking. I was just shocked at the audacity she had to go so far as to mock me. I don’t understand how someone can go to sleep with that on their conscious, but not my problem and not something I need to concern myself with. But, it’s that type of situation that stays with me as a reminder to try and minimize how much I do that myself. To live out what this verse is saying.
Thinking about it from a situational analysis perspective, this verse explains that what may appear to have happened, may not actually be what happened and therefore, we shouldn’t jump to conclusions. This is a hard one for me and where I personally need some self growth. Especially, when it comes to people. A lot of times if I get what I interpret as a rude text or tone of voice if it’s an in-person conversation, I take offense to it and get defensive or upset thinking I did something wrong. Later I find out that the person I was talking to had a bad day or was dealing with something stressful, not involving me but, I still took it personally when I shouldn’t have. This happens a lot at work. Taking a step back and asking the person how they’re doing or how their day is going to try to get more context is definitely something I’m trying to do more of. I need to be honest though, this is probably where I fail the most at; I’m an emotionally reactor.
The last scenario that this verse made me think of is social media and the lives we are guilty of portraying. There’s always that joke of having your “social media life,” where everything is rainbows and butterflies and then “real life.” I try to keep my social media positive and real but that doesn’t mean I don’t or am not struggling. I’ll be honest, right now and most of this year has been the lowest I’ve ever felt in my life. But, you wouldn’t know it by my social media. So while yes, it appears so-and-so is living the perfect life on their Instagram or Facebook, if you saw behind-the-scenes, your judgement might be different. Judgement and comparison is soooo easy these days and something I really do struggle with when it comes to social media. But, this verse is a good reminder and way to keep me grounded when seeing someone’s “perfect life” and wishing mine was like it.
I was struggling with what to write about this week when I saw this verse and knew instantly I wanted to share my thoughts and experiences. I really didn’t mean for this to be a sermon or to come off as preachy. Please also know that this is just my interpretation of the verse. If you have other interpretations, please share!
Here’s to trying to look more at the full picture to judge what is right!