How do you look at people? When you meet a new person do you make a snap judgement? Do you look at their hair, clothes or their shoes? Do we listen to how they speak, do they stutter? If someone is not delightful do we decide with a snap decision that we don’t want to associate with them?
I know I have been victim of snap decisions. My social EQ is low. I used to live with pain, still have some, however it is getting better. But when that pain is big, I am not always nice. I have learned that it is easier to just be quiet than to try to communicate. I know it makes me appear cold. But it is better to be quiet than to allow a surly attitude to shine through. After all, I can’t stay at home when I hurt.
I have also been guilty of snap judgments. I have looked at people and thought okay, I don’t want you near my children. I remember this one person who admitted making a snap judgement about me, they said you are not someone whom I would have given a glance. I looked at them and said if I had seen you walking down the street, I might have crossed it. I would not have allowed you to speak to my children.
Today, my views are different. Oh sure there are styles that make me cringe. Sorta like on that movie Liar Liar, the secretary asks Jim Carrey’s character How do like my dress? It was a rather loud dress and he says whatever takes the attention off of your hair. I have just gotten better at not showing it.
I think that is the catch, we are still going to have our snap judgments. What matters is what we do with it. Do we allow our initial impression to influence how we treat that person? Do we allow the person time to show us who they really are?
If we don’t learn how to control our primary response, then we lose opportunities.
See the people who need Jesus the most are probably not people we want our children near. They might be homeless, they might need attitude adjustments, they may feel they are superior, or they might be impressed by how much money you make. Or unimpressed as the case might be. They might be addicts, alcoholics, prostitutes, or maybe a convict. Sometimes the person who needs Jesus is someone whom we respect. Just because a person is nice doesn’t mean they have Christ.
When we make snap judgments we lose opportunities.
When we are surly we lose opportunities.
When we are not compassionate we are not loving the world as Jesus would have us love the world.
Compassion means that we strive to treat people the way we want to be treated. I know when I went out in public in pain, I often wished that people would just try to understand. I know my clothes don’t fit well, my hair is a mess. I wanted to comb it better, but it just hurt. I just wished for help. I know I rarely asked for it, I know how easy it is to get tired of hearing people’s problems. I just don’t ask very often because I don’t want to be that person. The person that everyone avoids. They frequently request favors and are rarely there for anyone else. I want to be the person that helps.
Things started to change for me when I learned how to appropriately ask for help. I am not very good at asking for help, I am still afraid of people getting tired of helping me.
God is working on me. While God s working, I am becoming more compassionate, I am becoming more willing to ask for help. It is a two-way street to be compassionate with others we have to be compassionate with ourselves. We have to accept our weakness. God will turn it to strength.