Written By: Melanie Pickett
We’ve all been the topic of unpleasant conversation. I know I have.
People unfairly judging me. Judging my life, my decisions.
They ask questions of each other about this or that, questions they should ask me instead. If they really want to know. (Sometimes people don’t want to know the truth. The speculation is much juicier, after all).
It’s probably safe to assume each of us has been talked about behind our backs unfairly.
Most likely each one of us has also been treated unfairly or unkindly, right out in the openness of life. I sure have.
I lived inside a marriage rife with domestic abuse for many years. I know he didn’t value me, not the way a human should be valued. I know he told me lies about myself: I’m not good enough, I don’t work hard enough, I don’t dress right, I don’t cook right, I don’t do…anything right.
We’re human and human beings sometimes assume the worst of others. We judge by what we see, not by what really is.
The cashier who’s rude? Maybe she was rude that day and not every day. Maybe her husband left her that morning. Or maybe her child is sick and she had to leave her baby with a neighbor and come to work because they need the money. And all she really wants to do is hold her sick little one, but instead, she has to deal with demanding customers.
And what about the haggard mom who gets snippy with her kids in the store and we all exchange judgmental glances as we witness this, assuming she’s a stern mother without a nurturing bone in her body. The reality just might be that she’s been up and running for twelve solid hours taking care of everyone else’s needs but her own and the kids were bickering, so she snapped at them.
We slap all sorts of labels and judgements on people without knowing many facts. Even those of us who try hard never to do this, sometimes do it in spite of our efforts. So as much as we don’t like to be viewed in a dim light, we should try hard not to do so to others.
Those labels we stick on others—and the ones they stick on us—aren’t always accurate. And they don’t define us. Someone else’s opinion of who we are doesn’t mean that is who we are. Pretty or not-so pretty. Stylish or frumpy. Mean or kind. Smart or ditzy. Friendly or aloof. Wealthy or less advantaged. Funny or lacking in a sense of humor. All labels and nothing more.
We get to decide who we are. We get to choose our characteristics. And God chose our worth, so very long along, even before we were a glimmer in the eyes of our parents.
He determined our worth, our precious, priceless worth. And no label, no opinion, and no judgement will ever—not for one second—change just how infinitely valuable we are. We are truly precious in His sight so we don’t have to be in the sight of the world.
We know we are immeasurably loved. It always humbles me to know that Jesus died on that cross of all of us, but the fact is, He would have died for just one of us. Just one of us. He loves each of us, no matter what. And nothing we can do will ever change our worth in His eyes.