Why do we choose to be critical, rather than kind? The choice of our words is ever before us.
I have been very interested in the Jennifer Livingston story – a Wisconsin anchor newswoman who received a hurtful email about her weight. The following lines are an excerpt from the email.
…Surely you don’t consider yourself a suitable example for this community’s young people, girls in particular. Obesity is one of the worse choices a person can make…I leave you this note, hoping that you’ll reconsider your responsibility as a local public personality to present and promote a healthy lifestyle.
Jennifer chose to address this email publicly and her articulate, honest and heart felt response went viral.
“I am overweight…but to the person who wrote that email, do you think I don’t know that?..that your cruel words are pointing out something I don’t see? You don’t know me, you are not a friend of mine…You know nothing about me but what you see on the outside.
I am much more than a number on a scale.”
We are all more than a number on a scale, a mark on an exam, a fashionable outfit, a position in a company or a great haircut.
When we are truly honest with ourselves, we would confess that there is a judgmental, critical, vindictive spirit within all of us. If our thoughts were amplified so that everyone could hear what we are thinking about others in a single day, it would be embarrassing and shameful. The day unfolds and as we watch people, we are constantly making judgments about their appearance and their actions – it happens so quickly and so often, we’re not even consciously aware of it.
It’s our sinful nature, isn’t it?
The outward appearance is HUGE in this world and choosing to dwell on our inadequacies is definitely one of the devil’s strongest and most effective strategies that he uses on us to pull and keep us down.
The greatest witness that we have in this world comes from a heart of contentment, a mind of thankfulness and a desire to glorify God, not ourselves. I believe we are to do the best with what God has given us because our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit but we are to focus on our impact on this world.
We are all imperfect – inside and out – but ultimately, the Lord sees beyond the flesh and into the heart.
The deep peace that we all long for will never come from our appearance.
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. 1 Samuel 16.7 NIV