Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Confessions of a Judgmental Jerk

I saw this guy tonight who made me think about blogging about men wearing short shorts...we're talking cutoffs so short that the pockets were just about visible at the bottom. But then I realized, that would be a bit hypocritical since this was in the middle of a presentation by Danny & Jessica Wuerffel (Danny the former Florida and NFL player, Heisman winner--his wife's from the area and they did a youth event tonight) which they mentioned a few times 1 Samuel 16:7--"Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." Don't get me wrong...I still think men wearing short shorts is gross...but who knows but what that guy had an incredible heart and is an awesome guy? And I'm going to look down on him based on his shorts??

Yeah...this just brings me to a larger lesson I've been reminded of again lately. Talk about lessons God has to teach me over and over...I think I started learning a version of this lesson back in sixth grade at church camp. I have vivid memories of my cabin hating this other cabin of girls. At church camp! I don't know why--by the end of the week, we didn't even know why. For no apparent reason, we just decided they were snobs and we didn't like them. We even made fun of one of the girls because she had a really deep voice. How cruel were we? And wouldn't you know, the last night of camp we discovered that these girls were awesome, and we had a big slumber party with the two cabins together. Now granted, part of that is just middle school girls' cliquey-ness and drama. But part of it is learning not to make snap judgments about people.

I find that every time I do it (you'd think I'd eventually learn), I end up feeling rotten about it once I get to know the person better. We all make decisions about people based on the way they look, on what others say about them, on superficial interactions with them...But when you learn to see past some of that, and begin to find out what's going on deeper inside that makes them act the way they learn a funny thing called compassion.

Over the years I have been a jerk to a lot of people. I wish I could apologize to some of the kids I probably hurt just as badly as others hurt me in middle & high school. And perhaps just in my head, I've been plenty unfair and unkind to countless others since. So as I go through "Superficiality and Judgmentalism for Dummies" yet again, I hope maybe someday I'll learn to see others with a little more of God's vision, and love them with a little of His love.

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