Not Yours to Define

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How many times have people assumed things about you that are so far from the truth?

It alienates, discriminates, and propagates ideas that are damaging to connection and compassion.

The truth is, we are all walking a God designed path in a world that makes it hard to do so. Our past experiences aren’t written on our sleeves, but our expressions and reservations reflect them—a hard exterior can mean a wounded and healing interior.

We are all inwardly dealing with fears, feelings and their consequential actions, all of are controlling how people see us. The opposite is true as well, perhaps your inward battles affect how you see others.

Having a preconceived notion of ‘knowing’ someone doesn’t absolve us of the due diligence to truly know someone.  

We don’t know their story.

We don’t know their personality.

We don’t know what God is doing.

We don’t know their loneliness.

We don’t know how hard they’ve worked.

We don’t know what losses they have suffered.

Her life is ________. How do you typically fill in that blank? Perfect? Better than mine? Strange? Insane? Chaos?

But the truth is … Her life is not yours to define.

Self-detrimental comparison alienates you from connecting with people who you see as ‘better’ or ‘prettier’ or ‘more successful.’ Often those people are dealing with their own insecurities and lack of true connections, those connections where people love and appreciate them for who they really are. We often make those kinds of comparisons because their life intimidates us.

Judgment of someone who seemingly ‘doesn’t have it all together’ disconnects you from the compassion those people crave, yet rarely receive. And if we loved like Jesus, we would give this compassion to others freely, because their life isn’t ours to define.

So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you’ll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind. I know you’re already doing this; just keep on doing it. –1 Thessalonians 5:11 (The Message)

But we have a beautiful opportunity. We can decide to see beyond the exterior, and with the partnership of the Holy Spirit, truly begin to SEE people—their needs, their kindness, their gifts, their loneliness, and their desire for connection.

  • What’s something people assume about you that has kept them at a distance or perpetuated a persona of you that’s so far from who you truly are?
  • Can you think of someone you may have misjudged that you can commit to seeing with different eyes?

A life other than your own—it’s not yours to define. What you are to define—through words and actions—is what love, and kindness, and compassion looks like. You are to build others up and foster true and lasting connections, because that is what Jesus would do.