I Chron. 4:9 There was a man named Jabez who was more distinguished than any of his brothers. His mother named him Jabez because his birth had been so painful.
Jabez was more distinguished than any of his brothers. We can only speculate, but I wonder what made him more distinguished than his brothers. Certainly it would not be the nature of his birth, because it was a very painful experience for his mother. Was it his good looks, his size, his personality, his achievements in life, his influence? There are many things that cause one to stand out amongst his peers and family.
What do you look at when you evaluate a person’s life and worth? Do you deem a person worthy of your attention by your first impression of him? Do you see others through the lens of your own notions of what makes a person worthy of attention? Do you treat others based on your perception of them without bothering to get to know them?
How often have you misjudged a person because of your initial reaction to them? We are not very good at judging one’s character based upon what we see and hear. We don’t know why people act the way they do in front of us. We don’t know why someone may be dressed the way they are or why their personal hygiene may be bad. We don’t know what others think of themselves. And, we will never know these things unless we allow ourselves to get close enough to them to discover what is behind the mask they portray.
Let us never forget that no matter what we see, there is a person behind the appearance. There is someone who has feelings about themselves, life, God and others. There is someone who has experienced life in ways that may be different than us and it may have scarred them deeply. There may be someone who is able to put on a good front to hide who they really are. There may be diamonds in the rough just waiting for us to discover them.
Be careful. Don’t dismiss others just because of who they may appear to be or not to be. The needs of everyone for love and acceptance are the same. Everyone needs someone to know them and care about them. Everyone needs a friend, just like you do. Ask the Lord to help you to be slow to judge others by who they appear to be.