It is our human nature to be judgmental. We judge others based on their appearance, the car they drive, their job title, and about 7 million other things. I think judging other people is maybe one of the most natural things for people to do, whether it's intentional or not. I know I do it more in my everyday life than I care to admit.
But isn't it the worst feeling when someone judges you? Maybe its a weird look that comes across their face, or something they say, but you can totally tell they are sizing you up in their head. The bible says that we will reap what we sow. In other words; if you judge someone, others will be more likely to judge you.
This is a struggle I face in my own life. I feel like when other people talk & get to know me, they form judgments about me, right or wrong.
But most often times I feel that people judge me based on my path. What I mean by that is when others find out the details of my life (married super young, no college degree, supporting my husband through school, etc, etc) they form judgments. And lets be real, my life is a bit unconventional. I'm the youngest person I've ever known to get married and not be a gypsy freak or mail-order bride. The path that I'm on is different from yours. In reality, who is on the same path in this life? We all live, work, get married (or not), experience things and die at different times and under different circumstances.
But I overheard a conversation today between people who were talking negatively about someones life decisions & path (which just so happens to be getting married young). It was condescending and I felt hurt for that person, who I've never even met. I felt my face get hot and my palms sweaty. I was overcome with a sense of resentment.
How dare they talk about her like that? Yes, that isn't the path for everyone, but it's her path. How can you say you are better than someone else for being on a different path? What if God were to switch your paths? What then? Would you be silly and wrong for following the path God has for you, even if it meant doing things in an unconventional way?
Maybe this hit a nerve with me based on my insecurities. But I think a valuable lesson is to be learned through this.
I judge others just like others judge me, but on different grounds. For instance; I judge couples who get pregnant right after getting married. I've thought; "married for 6 months..& you're expecting? Are you crazy?!" Again, I think this judgment comes from my own insecurity, because I know I am not ready for that stage of life. But how is that fair to those people? This is the path God has for them. He chose to bless them with a sweet addition to their family. Who am I to judge that? If I judge them and say that is wrong, I am saying the very God who set their feet on that path is bad and wrong.
Newsflash; God doesn't mess up. He doesn't make mistakes. He never needs a do-over. He is perfect, and his plans are flawless. (which is exactly why I don't have any children yet) ;)
I'd like to end with this verse I read in 1 Samuel the other day. It pretty much sums this up perfectly.
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 16:7b)
Today, I am thankful for the path God has placed me on. It is different from others; but that's alright with me :)