January 08, 2014This week in Pastor Bill Trok's Thought for the Week, he addresses judging a book by its cover. The message is a good one, judging a person by their appearance can sometimes have serious consequences, squander opportunities and disappoint ourselves and others.
I recently had a very embarrassing experience while at the grocery store that I want to share with you that relates perfectly to Pastor Bill's teachings. Let me start by telling you I am a little overweight. Well, maybe I should say more than a little overweight. Age, pregnancies, genetics, medical stuff and yes, even the way I eat have all contributed to this fact. I am pretty active, and try to eat the right things, but I still struggle with these extra pounds.
While paying for my groceries, the male cashier thought it would be appropriate to ask me when I was due. Well, I could feel my face begin to redden from embarrassment. My heart skipped a beat and rather than drag out the conversation I simply told the cashier that I had not lost my baby weight, not exactly a lie. However, since my baby is now 15, this was not the complete truth either. The cashier seemed satisfied with that and apologized for his mistake.
My husband and I left the grocery store and loaded the groceries into the back of my SUV. I lamented the general insensitivity of people. My husband nodded a lot, smiled, then took my hand and said that he thought I handled the situation in a Christian manner. He told me he was proud of me for not losing it on the cashier.
Of course, I continued to feel badly anyway. Later that evening, we did our daily devotion and talked in depth about what had occurred at the grocery store. I won't go into all the details of the conversation, but I felt much better afterwards, filing the unfortunate incident away as a future teaching tool for my kids on not judging a book by its cover.
As mentioned in Pastor Bill's Thought for the Week, 1Samuel 16:7 tells us that people judge by outward appearance but the Lord looks at a person's heart.
I didn't suffer any physical harm from the comments made to me that day in the grocery store. Sure my feelings were hurt and I did pout for a bit following the exchange, but when I look at the bigger picture, my reaction to it didn't cause the situation to get any worse.
I don't know what this guy's situation was, maybe his wife just had a baby or found out she was pregnant and he was excited about it, or maybe he just didn't know any better. I couldn't tell by looking at him. I tried not to judge him for what I perceived to be an insensitive comment. Maybe my reaction to it taught him something such as how to be forgiving in an embarrassing situation. What I do know is that experience reminded me to get to know what is in a person's heart before judging them by their outward appearance and hopefully my story reinforces the words of 1Samuel 16:7 in your hearts too.