‘Everyone has secrets they don’t wanna share. Everyone has a past that no one has heard about. Everyone has talents that people don’t notice. Everyone has a story left untold. So never start judging someone, thinking like you know them because the truth is you probably don’t’. – Lupytha Hermin
It’s easy to look at people and put labels on them. We can judge them positively:
They’ve got it all together.
We can judge them negatively:
They really need to get their life together.
However, as the quote above reminds us, perceptions are usually flawed. They cannot be relied upon when making conclusions about another person’s situation.
What we see right in front of us is rarely ever enough to dictate the way we feel about ourselves or others.
The mind is a powerful, deep and complex thing filled with thoughts, experiences, memories and a range of emotions. Perhaps it is no surprise then that we cannot read another’s mind. We can only really see the thoughts, ideas and memories that people choose to reveal to us.
The people we see confidently living happy, fulfilled lives may well be going through things they haven’t revealed. Likewise, those whose lives are perhaps not as enviable may have a significant story to tell. Our perceptions only ever reveal part of a person’s story.
What would others say about you if they knew your full story?
Some may describe you as friendly, genuine, a good person, beautiful even. Whilst these words may be true, how much confidence can we gain from them if humans’ perceptions tend to be flawed? What if we’ve only allowed people to see the parts of ourselves we want them to see?
What I find amazing about my relationship with God is that he can see into my mind- he knows all of my mistakes, my thoughts, my whole past, my future… he knows me better than I know myself and still he says I am fearfully and wonderfully made, cherished, loved and even worth dying for. His opinion of me does not change depending on what I have done and there is ultimately nothing I could do to make him love me more or less.
We cannot judge others because our perception is flawed. We cannot ground our confidence in others’ opinion of us because their perception is flawed too.
Let’s find our confidence and joy in what God says about us.