Grocery Glares

Why is it that it is so easy to make snap judgments in the checkout line? Maybe we’re all tired and hungry by the time we make it to the checkout, and our defenses are down. We don’t have the emotional capacity to fight our pride and self-justification as much in that state. Maybe we’re feeling down on ourselves, and it feels eerily good to spot someone we feel we can look down on. Makes for good stories, later, anyway, right?

One woman was glared down as she purchased a birthday cake with her food stamps. Later she found the judging party continued in the newspaper, as the person had written in to rant about her purchase. She replied, explaining that this was her young daughter’s birthday- and it would be her last. She had an incurable disease, and she wanted this birthday to be special.

Another woman was dealt a similar judgement fest from observers behind her in line as she used her food stamps for shrimp. After all his years as a committed, hardworking employee, her husband, for no fault of his own, had lost his job. She wanted to celebrate with him his many years of hard work. She wanted to make such a hard blow slightly less out of respect and love for him.

From being invited into stories like these and with my own bent, I see myself prone to a weird twist on this- judging everyone who is judging everyone else. When I see a sour look on someone’s face, overhear a snide comment about another person, or have someone telling me some juicy one-side-of-the story tale at someone’s expense, my blood boils. My Mamma raised me to not judge others, and my field of study (cross-cultural communication/language teaching) solidified it. I’m empathetic to a fault, and I tend to feel everything. This can be great in my field, since I work with people from cultures all over the world and coach them to understand and communicate better with those of completely different perspectives. But judging judgers is judging just the same.

We don’t know the full story- ever. Let’s try really hard to choose to not fill in the gaps- or at least to hope and expect the best in others.

Let’s choose love over judgment. It’s sure what our Savior came to do.

1 Corinthians 13:7: “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

John 3:17 “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”

Have you ever been judged for something unfairly?

Please help us all to stop our hearts from snap judgments by sharing your story in the comments below.


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