If you are anything like me you have to work really hard about not being judgmental.
I have heard many stories in my life about this subject. I’m sure you have too. I’d love to hear them.
My favourite is the story of the tramp who stumbled into Church on Sunday morning in his filthy, smelly clothes and proceeded to make his way to the front stumbling along and mumbling incoherently passing the immaculately dressed members of the congregation.
They shuffled uncomfortably in their seats as the tramp made his way towards the pulpit. No one was quite sure what to do and so no one did anything. The tramp seemed oblivious as he looked down at the congregation from the pulpit still mumbling.
They waited in an embarrassed and uncomfortable silence wondering what might happen next.
The tramp took off his coat and hat, removed his untidy, scruffy looking false beard and proceeded to deliver the sermon. The audience quickly realised this was the Minister and so they immediately relaxed. What a wonderful way to make a point.
Was the tramp welcomed as warmly as the Minister? … We all know that's a 'no brainer.'
Although I genuinely hope I am getting better as I get older I sometimes still make wrong assumptions about someone based primarily on their appearance.
I'm working on it but I admit I sometimes still do it!
How about you?
I think it is a very unusual person who can honestly look in the mirror and say they have never been judgmental about someone based on perception; the appearance of the person; maybe even just the reputation that goes before them; their race; their skin colour; their religion; their sexual preference; their lifestyle; the list goes on .....
It was delightful therefore to be reminded by Nicky Gumbel of the wonderful words of GK Chesterton who said;
‘People are equal in the same way pennies are equal. Some are bright, others are smooth, others are sharp and fresh. But all pennies are equal in value.’ G K Chesterton
Next time I feel myself making assumptions I will do well to remember the words of GK Chesterton.