People Are The Way They Are

Isaiah 11:3 — His delight is in the fear of the Lord, and He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, nor decide by the hearing of His ears (NKJV).

I used to be very judgmental and critical. I would make snap judgments about a person’s character based on things I saw them do or heard them say. Without knowing who they were or where they came from, I would characterize them by the limited knowledge I had about them. I was the assumption-making pro.

If someone made a stupid decision, I labeled him as stupid. If I heard someone say something that didn’t make sense to me, I presumed he had no sense at all. If a person constantly struggled with a certain sin, I figured he must be a weak-willed individual. I didn’t even realize how critical I had become. After all, being judgmental comes naturally.

Then one day the Holy Spirit spoke up on the inside of me. I had just cast judgment on someone when I heard His voice say, “People are the way they are for a reason.” That was it. That was all He said. I thought about it for a while, and then understanding started to come.

People are the way they are for a reason, and just because I don’t understand or necessarily agree with their reasoning, does not give me the right to judge them. I immediately felt convicted. How many times in my life had I assumed things about people that just weren’t true? The answer is too many.

My prayer for you today is to stop labeling others based on the limited knowledge you have of them. Don’t stereotype on the basis of their background, build, or bottom line. Rather than be quick to judge others for the way you perceive them to be, consider where they’ve been, what they’ve walked through, and what they continue to endure. When we take the time to learn someone’s story, we’ll find we really didn’t know as much as we thought we did.

John 7:24 — “Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment” (NIV).

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