Name-Brand Jeans and Mouse Traps. . .Do Not Judge by Appearance
And, on the opposite side, you and I have both wrongly came to conclusions with something we saw or experienced. Right?
We had just come home from a four year term with our children ages 6, 4, and 3. I loved to dress them alike and had purchased long-sleeve gingham shirts for them – a blue one for Benjy and red ones for my two girls. I had a cute jean overalls for Benjy but still needed to complete the outfits for my girls. How fun to find some cute red overalls for my girls on sale at the mall that would be perfect to complete the ensemble.
I was a bit chagrined though when one of my friends at the event made this sarcastic comment: “Osh Kosh B’gosh no less!!! Let’s all become missionaries so we can afford to buy Osh Kosh B’gosh!”
I was perplexed by this comment. It was true that these red overalls had the tag on the outside of the overalls that said “Osh Kosh B’gosh.” I did not realize that that was a high class name-brand for children’s clothing. (I had just come from four years in Africa, don’t forget!)
In fact, I thought it was kind of tacky to have the tag on the outside of the overalls instead of hidden inside the back where they belong!
My friend’s assumption that I had spent a lot of money on a name-brand item for the prestige was totally wrong. I had no idea that it was a name-brand and personally, don’t seek to impress people with name-brand purchases anyway. (Don’t get me wrong – I have plenty of faults – but trying to impress others with expensive name-brands is not one of them.)
The judgmental comment was made from appearance only, and not with the knowledge of any facts of how I had gotten those overalls.
“Lady, you have a lot of problems!”
I suppose it did look that way to her. I had to chuckle inside realizing I was oblivious to how it must have looked to her. My purchases all shouted that our house was infested and our kids were unclean.
The truth of the matter was that I was buying supplies for our four year term in Ghana and I knew that we might encounter certain pests. I tended to shop for our needs in categories – one time getting medical supplies, another time getting personal care items, and this time, buying things for getting rid of pests.
Her condescending comment was actually just a reflection of not understanding why I was purchasing those items. For all she knew, I could have been buying them to donate to the food pantry!
She assumed, and she assumed wrongly. She was judging by appearance only.
The lesson in these two stories is that things aren’t always as they seem to be so don’t jump to conclusions.
Be quick to give the benefit of the doubt. Become an expert at not judging but offering grace in every situation.
Another good scripture to remember for this is from James 1:19: “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” (NIV) I know that the “becoming angry” part doesn’t apply here, but you get the gist. Listen to your friend and be slow to offer judgment.