I find that it's easy to judge by appearances. I recently parked in the car park of the shopping center. I noticed that the man in the car next to me looked quite rough and like a member of a motorcycle club — a bikie. I went into the center and did my shopping. On the way back to the car I tripped on a gutter and fell flat on my face. Ouch! I sat up with blood flowing profusely from a cut above my eye. The rough bikie in the car next to me was the one who came to my aid and helped me back to my car. His name was Sam, and he helped me stop the bleeding and put a covering on the cut. Throughout our interaction he was respectful, kind, and considerate. Sam told me that he had some first aid training but that people often didn’t want his help. I wasn’t the only one to judge him by the way he looked without knowing him, which is rather sad.
This reminded me of the story of Samuel the prophet, who was directed by God to travel to Bethlehem to anoint a new king from Jesse’s sons. When he saw the eldest son who was tall and handsome he thought this must be the one that that God had chosen. “But the LORD said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart’” (1 Samuel 16:7, NIV). Jesus tells us in Luke 6:37, “Do not judge, and you will not be judged” (NIV).
I misjudged Sam. We are all God’s children and each of us is made in God’s image. All of us have good in us that comes from the nature of God, our Creator, just as all of us are broken and capable of evil because of the fall. I needed to ask God for forgiveness for judging Sam when I didn’t know him. I needed to remind myself of the potential that God places in each of us. May God help us all to notice and affirm others, even though they may be different than us. Jesus’ example of love is the one I want to aspire to, and I pray that the Holy Spirit will help me to do this. My prayer is that I will see people a not as the world sees them but with the eyes of our loving God.