- Written by Alex Smith
In the past couple of years, we have had many people come and go from our church and in the old hostel. Everyone from young adults up to older people have all lived there. I will be honest and say that I judged some of the residents at the hostel, especially the older men with tattoos; the type of men who I thought I better not get on the wrong side of or I would get punched; guys who have been in and out of jail most of their lives. I chose to judge them without even saying ‘hello’.
In the Bible, Matthew 7:1-2 says, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with measure you use, it will be measured to you.” It even says in the Bible not to judge others otherwise we will be judged.
So why do we do this? We judge before we have even said a single word them. For some of us, we have insecurities; we want to look like those models in the magazines or on TV, etc. Without knowing their everyday struggles, some of us like to say that these types of people only care about themselves and how they look. We say these things to make us feel better about ourselves.
We mainly judge when we don’t know a person or have just met somebody. Like when we get a new classmate or workmate, we start figuring out who they are, which is exactly what I did with the residents at the hostel. I chose judge them because of how they looked.
It wasn’t until one of my friends moved in there that I actually started making conversation with them. It was always small talk, but slowly I was willing to open up to the residents. Sitting down and chatting with one of the guys with tattoos, he started talking to me about his children and how he wants a better life for himself and for his children. He really wants to get everything in his life sorted so he can be with his kids again. At that point, I realized how much of a soft heart he actually had and what he was saying to me and, well, I thought it was really sweet.
Since that conversation, he has done nothing but encourage me in everything I do. He tells me to hug myself every day and also look in the mirror every day and tell myself that I love myself. I now know that I will always get a positive response when I talk to him. Thinking back now, I wonder why I was actually afraid of him. The tattoos, the clothes, the way he talked, I judged him.
If I hadn’t taken the time to sit and chat with him, I would still be afraid of him. Next time you meet someone for the first time, try not to judge them, instead look beyond their appearance. Ask them questions, and find out something amazing about that person. Just remember you will never know a person until you start asking questions.