I had a great comment to my previous post that has prompted me to continue my thread of thought and take this one step further. I appreciate twotiretirade’s comment because it made me consider both what my words may have insinuated, and touched on a frustration I have when it comes to how judgmental people can be. So, thanks “twotiretirade!”
In my previous post I was pontificating more over the assumptions others make of clergy and the appropriate and inappropriate behaviors we exhibit. Well, actually, not just clergy, but all who call themselves Christians. The post came from my motorcycle and rock concert experience, but the judgement that comes from riding and rocking out is the real crux of the matter. Why do Christians judge anyone based on music, clothing, motorcycle riding, etc.?
I’m reminded of that scene in “Pretty Woman” when she goes into that high dollar clothing shop and no one will assist her due to her clothing – even though she had a wad of money in her purse! The assumptions we make about others based on appearances or societal stereotypes is so unfair. I can’t say with all honesty that I haven’t been guilty of that myself. But, as I have grown older (and, hopefully wiser), I’ve come to realize that you should never judge, especially when only God knows a person’s heart! Yes, of course we can create an opinion of someone’s character pretty quickly. But, be careful when you judge others . . . remember:
John 8:7 (CEB)
7 They continued to question him, so he stood up and replied, “Whoever hasn’t sinned should throw the first stone.”
What a great example Jesus sets for us as he frequented the homes of prostitutes and tax collectors. Jesus saw the heart and not just the outward appearance or the bad reputation. Jesus knew that there was so much more behind that facade, behind those clothes, behind that reputation. I just think that we should all remember that and look at someone through the eyes of Christ instead of using the judgmental filters we tend to have in place thanks to societal stereotypes.
You see, the truth is that some of the nicest people I’ve ever met were bikers or rockers with tattoos, they smoke and drink, they may use bad language, they may wear ripped clothing or hang out in interesting places, but they are all amazing people with good hearts. I’ve served dinner to the homeless alongside folks who looked like they, too, were homeless, but ended up being some of the most dedicated Christians I’ve ever met who just happened to dress a certain way. I’ve played bass with others in a praise band setting who had tattoos and spiked mohawk hairstyles, and they praised God with the best of them!
So, as I jump off of my soapbox let me close by reminding all of us that we are all brothers and sisters in Christ. Our eyes need to remain open and welcoming to all we encounter. I’m also speaking to myself here because I’m not immune to this pitfall. Hopefully we can move forward open and engaging rather than closed off and judgmental. I think I’ll pray on that a bit and see how God can work through me to help make that a possibility not only in my life but in my ministry!