It’s so easy to look at someone and make a snap judgement based on what we see, or perhaps what we smell. For example, if we smell a super expensive perfume, we may well label that person as “wealthy and important”. But if they smell as though they haven’t had a wash for a few weeks, we might assign a label of “dirty and homeless”.
Both labels may be true, but they don’t help us at all when it comes to how we should be towards them. Because the person with money is just as valuable as the person without. And, actually, if we read how Jesus treated those two types of people, we’d realise that the person with less is actually the person Jesus would be drawn towards much more. What a world we could live in if we valued people as God valued them, rather than what they can do for us?
We really do love to assign labels don’t we? The happy family. The sad widow. The goth.
If we give someone a label, then we feel like we’re more likely to understand who they are and how we should respond.
Using those first two examples I gave, anybody can wear expensive perfume – especially if they have stolen it. And the person who hasn’t washed for a weeks could have had their money stolen and be unable to pay for heating for their home or to wash their clothes.
So, let’s not be quick to assign labels to the people we meet, and let’s make sound judgements about the people who we do come into contact with, be it frequently, or simply occasionally.
It takes a year for us to see the fruit on a fruit tree, so why not give the next person you meet for the first time the same amount of time before you judge who, or what, they are.
But the bible does tell us to make judgements, and what to look for when doing so. What it doesn’t do is ever tell us to be judgemental. That’s never something we should entertain, and that’s where labelling people can go, oh, so, wrong!
Just a thought…
0:06 So another Andy B 2 Minute Video, and I'm having a bad bad hair day, hence the hat.
0:12 Now, sometimes things go wrong, and sometimes things go right! In the world of the Berry Bunch, we have exactly the same thing. I, I'm doing a little miniature series, I suppose, of Andy B's right now, on our filming and shooting and, and how it works, and all that kind of stuff and stuff that God is teaching me about myself, about life. And, over the weekend, we had our Saturday filming day. Didn't do quite as much as we normally do. A few of our regular seasons have come to an end. So, in a sense, it was quite good because we have a bit more time on our hands. It's funny how we had much less to shoot, and yet we still had a full day of filming. Anyway, this is the way it works!
0:50 But what was striking me was how we can mis-label something and make a big hash of things. Now I had a couple of files, and I mislabeled one of those files and it got very confusing. We have audio files, we have video files. I always label the audio as audio, and the video as video. And that helps me work out which is which for later on, when it comes to the kind of editing afterwards. And I'm careful with what I label it as. You know, what's the season name? What's the season number, what's the episode. But, on Saturday, for some reason known only to anybody other than myself, I mis-labelled something. And it was a bit frustrating. We've got a little board. We hold it up so we know what's going on. And I wrote the wrong episode number down. And when it came to trying to work out what was going on, it was a bit of a mess. Because what was written down is not what we'd done.
1:41 Now the thing is, as Christians, we can do the same thing. For me on Saturday, the recording was still good. It's still what we're gonna use. But, the title on the little board we put at the front, so we recognise what video clip is which video clip, well that was wrong. But that, being wrong, doesn't make the rest of the video recording that we did wrong or right. It's just a little board that helps us to remember what's going on. And it's only useful for post-edit and you don't get to see it! But, it made a mess. It made it very complicated because when I looked at the computer to check the titles of all the different files, all of a sudden what is filed as one season, was actually the wrong season. And then the episode number was wrong, and you get into a mess.
2:26 Do we mis-label people? Do we look at someone and say, 'Oh, we know who that is? We know what that sort of a person is.'
2:32 I heard a story one time of a new minister walking into a church. He dressed up as a tramp. He was smelly. He didn't wash. He didn't shave for a while. He sat on the front row. He was ignored. And when the person said "Right, we'd like to welcome our new speaker tonight", this guy stood up and went to preach. And he pointed out that he'd been ignored, he'd been pushed to one side, people didn't want to speak to him, didn't want to sit near him. And he wanted to change that in that church.
3:03 He was mislabeled because people saw him and made an assumption of who he was, what he was. Do we do that as people? I know we do. I'm asking the question, but it's a statement really. It's rhetorical! We do that all the time, don't we?
3:17 We see someone and say "Oh they've got money. Oh, yeah, let's go let's go and cosy up to them. They'll be useful in this church." "Well they look a bit poor, we'll we'll just ignore those people." I've seen that in churches, sadly. It makes me quite angry!
3:30 People are people, and we should love each other. We don't accept the bad. But we don't label the bad that we can see because we're taking a snapshot. And that snapshot invariably will be wrong! Because we'll get it wrong. We won't see the absolute truth we'll just see this little piece of someone's life.
3:50 Let's take time to get to know people. Let's not judge people. We need to make judgments. There's a wonderful thing that I find it wonderful in terms it's funny. 'Oh, you know Christians you should never judge.' No! As Christians we absolutely must judge. We must make judgements. What we shouldn't be is judgmental. We should make judgments about people. The Bible is replete with lots of examples, so many about how we judge is someone saved? Are they not? The Bible actually tells us what we're supposed to do and what we're supposed to look for. It's the fruit by the way, that's what we're looking for.
4:19 But you can't see fruit necessarily on a winter's morning. You don't know that apple tree has got any fruit on it at all. That's in the winter. When it gets to the summer, and it's full of apples. You know what it is? So we need to take time to get to know people. But let's not mis-label. And let's be careful not to put labels that are wrong, just because of what we see.
4:38 Just a thought
Written by The BerryBunch