Did you know that you have a name that God calls you? You have an identity that is not given to you by man. It doesn’t weigh heavily on you. It doesn’t condemn you. It doesn’t even demoralize you. He sees you in ways no other person sees you. He sees your life and everything that is going on. He sees you in your happiest moments and your pain. He sees you when you do things for others and when you don’t want to. He knows every aspect of the person that you are, and He knows you very well.
After King Saul turned away from the Lord, God told Samuel to select a new king to replace him. God sends him to a Bethlehemite, whose name was Jesse, telling him that he would choose a king, for Himself, from one of his sons. As Samuel goes through Jesse’s line, he bases his judgments on physical elements. He thinks that certain features or qualities of some would make them fit to be king. In 1 Samuel 16:7, we see God talking to Samuel. “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’”
I’m Guilty Of Passing Judgements On People
I know how easy it can be to place perceptions, opinions, and labels on people, all while not thinking about them, just the experiences I have had with them. It can be easy for me to believe that a person is lazy or that they are rude. I have placed labels on people saying they were rude, selfish, prideful, and even arrogant. As I look back at those times when I’ve spoken such things to others and have shared my views and these labels, I am embarrassed. There were times when I misjudged a person by their actions or words and called them a liar or a jerk. I never considered that my perception and feelings played a part in how I understood my experience with a person.
But God calls us to imitate Him. Let’s get back to this.
I know you can relate when I tell you that I have been labeled and misjudged based on reactions, actions, words spoken, and actions taken by myself. There was a moment when I first experienced this as a child. I was 12. A friend of the family had a dog. This dog was tiny, tan, and could go from friendly to mean in a heartbeat. One day, a child was on the floor, and that dog decided that he was going to bite a small boy. I saw what was about to transpire, got up as fast as possible, and picked the child up. Now, at that moment, I was trying to think of how to move and where to go, so I didn’t step on the dog.
Everyone was watching in the room. There were no eyes that were not set on us. Have you ever experienced that moment when you have been sitting on your legs for a while, and your foot falls asleep? That is a painfully uncomfortable experience! So, there I am, a 12-year-old girl with a toddler in my arms, a small dog trying jumping and trying to bite, and my left foot dangling in the air. Suddenly, that sensation of pins and needles shoots up and down my leg, and my foot goes limp.
Well, to my horror, it hit the dog, who went off yelping and crying. At that moment, my dad, in front of the whole group, reprimanded me. At an outward glance, it looked like I kicked the dog intentionally. So, he responded that way. Inside, I was embarrassed. My intention was not to do any harm. It was to prevent harm. That day I spent most of the time by myself. No one talked to me, and I felt very lonely. I am sure that, given the way things looked, no one thought about asking me what was going on inside of my heart.
I wasn’t interested in someone telling me that I did well. I was not looking for reward or praise. I just saw a problem and tried to help. After all, was said and done, all I wanted at that moment was someone to tell me they loved me and that I wasn’t chastised. I wanted to be told I wasn’t horrible or unlovable. Misperceptions, judgments; all these things have happened to you and me, and they will continue to happen. We are people with deficiencies. None of us is perfect.
God Doesn’t See Us The Same Way They Do
When others judge our motives or judge us based on what they think we should be like, look and speak like, those standards are impossible to live up to. When someone evaluates our circumstances and our responses, based on what they see and not on who they know us to be, it causes incredible pain because it changes our relationship with them. The labels others have put on us or the intentions people believe they know we have are not us friends. God has a name for you and me, and it is not what others have called us. God has planned your path, and it’s not what others have planned for you. He knows your heart. Don’t second guess yourself.
When you are labeled worthless, God says you are priceless. Maybe you even started to believe the things that are being said about you or to you. Maybe you are adding to their list and giving yourself other names based on the negative view you have of yourself. The same goes for others who have been treated in the same fashion like us. Jesus came to save us and told everyone He was the son of God, but people said he was blasphemous and had a demon. What’s important is what God knows of you. What’s important is what He calls you. What is your name? What is your identity?
Colossians 3:12- “So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” You and I have been chosen by God. We are holy and beloved.
Galatians 3:26- “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus” We are not rejected. We are accepted and adopted by God.
If then we have been mislabeled and judged wrongly, let’s remember it is possible that we too have done the same. Let’s ask God to help us see people differently. Let’s ask Him to help us judge correctly and treat others kindly. Maybe instead of passing quick judgment, we can ask the person what their intention was and extend to them the grace given to us by Jesus.