The other day as I was leaving an Atlanta mall, a security guard trainee stopped me. Apparently the mall was doing random security checks and for whatever reason, I was picked. “Do you mind if we check the content of your bags with your receipts?” he asked. A manager stood beside him, posed in an intimidating stance.
“Not at all,” I answered.
Shoppers passed by, some not noticing at all and some glaring at me as if I were a shoplifter. The manager instructed the trainee on a few points and then released me with a simple “Thank you.”
As I walked to my car, I noticed a shopping cart, picked up by the wind, rolling aimlessly in the parking lot bound for an unsuspecting car. A man, around my height and weight, hurried to catch it before it dented someone’s automobile.
As I continued to my car, a young lady yelled from a distance a quick thank you for preventing the cart from hitting her car. I casually waved not knowing what else to do.
In less than ten minutes, I went from being the person I was when I entered the mall to shop for a gift for my wife, to a suspected shoplifter by people passing by, to a good Samaritan – the latter two being totally incorrect.
Isn’t it amazing how we size-up people by appearance? A 20 second glance and we think we have the whole story.
Standing on the corner of downtown Atlanta, a man held a sign which read, “I need money.” He was at a red light and my car window view of him met him face-to-face. I rolled it down and handed him the cash I had in my pocket. I didn’t want to size him up as had just been done to me – good or bad. I didn’t want to assume why he needed the money or if he needed it.
God knows our hearts. He knows the makings of us. Sometimes the judgement of others hurts, especially when the glances are negative and condescending. Other times the judgement is a false belief that we have done something extraordinary and we haven’t. Either way it is wrong.
Today as you go about your day, think about how you judge people. Maybe you are quick to assume one way or another that a person is this or that? As I drove home, I felt a closeness with God; grateful that He knows who I really am – the good and the bad.
Keep this scripture in mind from 1 Chronicles 28:9, “For the LORD searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts.”
Today ask God to help you see people through His eyes.