Sizing Up People With the Eyes of Jesus

     While on a family vacation, I was reminded of how people have a way of “sizing you up!” If that term is not familiar let me explain.  “Sizing up” often happens when you move to a new town, especially a small one, where everyone knows everybody, who they are related to, and all the background family info. There seems to be a need to “place” you, for the lack of a better word in the grand scheme of things…your financial, marital, and vocational status. Perhaps this is just a Southern colloquialism but one I am quite familiar with after making more than a few moves in my married life. This can happen at a new church you attend, the grocery store, school functions, etc.  Sometimes you accidentally catch someone (or two, sometimes whispering) in the act when you are just minding your own business.  Today my daughter and I were “sized up” on more than one occasion at an upscale mall in the city we are visiting.

     We only briefly visited a few stores because the majority were beyond our budget. We were dressed nicely enough, though we were not garbed in a single designer item. I repeatedly caught well dressed shoppers giving me the once over starting with my blouse and ending with my shoes. I felt sure they were attempting to place my Walmart/TJ Maxx ensemble. The shoes really threw them off!  I was definitely the only person in that mall sporting Crocs sandals. It seemed in the few stores we did enter, our potential for purchasing was “sized up” by our attire. My reaction was to meet them with a smile when they were caught in the act.  Miriam and I chuckled about it!
     Sadly, we’ve all done this and categorized someone before we ever give them a chance based on our initial assessment. Jesus was never put off by the appearance of anyone to whom he ministered…the blind, the lame, the lepers.  Nor were the people put off by the appearance of John the Baptist who wore wild looking apparel, lived in the desert and ate locusts and wild honey. What we must learn to do is look at people with the eyes and the heart of Jesus, with opportunity, love, and promise. Give them a chance just as you would want them to do for you. Approach that individual God places in your path without a second thought or look. He or she may be visiting your church this Sunday or starting to work in your office on Monday, needing a word of friendship and encouragement, not judgement. Let all your “sizing up” be done in a positive light in which you search for what would make that person feel accepted, as though you were looking at them through the eyes of Jesus.  Praise God, that is what He does for us! To God Be the Glory!

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