Most likely we all do it. We see a person or group of people and make a snap judgment. We write them off and cast our verdicts on what kind of person we have just encountered. Sometimes we are correct in our judgments. And, there are other times when we get slapped in the face.
Yesterday, while out for a walk, I had one of those “slapped in the face” moments.
Our neighborhood has several different “pockets”. These pockets are generally categorized by socio-economic levels based on the condition and style of the houses, vehicles, and occupants. We live in a mid-level pocket. If one were to walk in a two block radius of our house, you would hit both low and high-level pockets.
During my walk, I turned down a street that led me into a low-level pocket. The homes and vehicles are in disrepair. In all honesty, the people are generally dirty and lack teeth.
As soon as I turned the corner, a large, loud, dirty old truck came speeding out of a driveway and down the road. My initial thought was, “Wow. We’re all really impressed.” My next thought was, “stupid white trash.”
Then, there was an interaction with the people still outside the house. They said “hello” and asked how old my daughter was. We began a simple conversation. They asked to see her pretty curls. They were older and harmless (just to relieve the grandparents reading this). We had a brief chat and then one of the ladies asked if it would be okay to give Sammie a sucker. She went into the house and brought out a really nice and colorful lollipop.
So, then, I found myself feeling like a jerk. Here I had passed judgment…believing that these people were ignorant and useless. Turns out they were really nice people who simply wanted to interact with their neighbors and give a gift. That was a slap in the face.
I’m too quick to pass judgment. I too often write people off before I even take a chance to get to know them. This experience has opened my eyes. I need to slow down and take into consideration that there are times when my quick judgments are too harsh.
Luke 6:37- “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”