Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Rotting Teeth, Overalls and All Associated Thoughts

Sometimes, I think thoughts about other people that appall me the moment I think them. I guess this is a good thing. Good that I recognize them as appalling, I mean.

But, yesterday, at work I had a ridiculously awful thought about a costumer that came in. He and his wife were obviously hillbillies, had rotting teeth, and looked like they just walked off of Old McDonald's farm.

When they came up to my register, I thought, "Ew."

Literally. That is what I said to myself.

But as soon as I did, I realized how utterly sinful that was of me. How could I judge these two people by the way they looked? Yes, they were definitely rough, but for me to draw a conclusion about them was nothing short of wrong. By seeing a human that seemed like a "lower-life being" (for lack of a better word), I automatically got a prideful attitude - feeling like I was not as gross and disgusting as them. Yeah, rotting teeth are not something anyone would wish for, but my overall conclusion of them had a lot less to do with their teeth than it did with my pride. I got a little puffed up because I was "better" than them (and like I have anything to do with that!!).

Thankfully, God convicted me right after I thought that. It was like He said, "Ashley, remember me?" Yes, instantly, I remembered Him.

There is something dirtier and grosser than any person on earth: my sin. I tried to offer it to the Lord, but He said, "No good." Only His Son's sacrifice would do. How could I forget that favor bestowed on me? How could I forget that the Holy Lamb of God, took my filthy rags, my offensive sin, and my unworthy soul and made it white as snow on the cross. How could I forget that the Son left glorious Heaven to sleep in a manger with prickly hay and animals?

How on earth could I forget that Christ left His Father to eat with sinners, to heal their diseases and to love them? He came across a lot of freaky looking people - I assure you. He touched lepers! If you don't know, lepers have a disease called leprosy which makes parts of your body and your facial features fall off. And I'm weirded out by some rotting teeth and overalls? How superficial I am!

Jesus came to walk and talk with adulterers. He spoke with the blind, deaf, and lame. Man, some of His biggest fans were some really "low-life beings." And how did Jesus react? With love and mercy. He touched them and was surrounded by them. He didn't say, "ew" like He could have. He showed them the way to heaven because He wanted to bear their sin and their imperfections. He wanted to spend eternity with them. He wanted them to know life.

Wow. I'm so sinful.

 I am super thankful that God convicted me of that right when I thought it. I decided to make an extra special effort to reach out to them - I guess I was trying to make up for what I thought. I ended up really liking those two. They were hearty, country people and they were totally fun. We talked a little about Christmas, and I even found something in common between me and him - he was gluten free! 
After they took their food to the table, I vowed to not make deductions like that again. I can never see into the heart . . . but even if I could, I wouldn't be permitted to judge any way. I would still be commanded to love.

Several verses would fit nicely here, but one sticks out in my mind. Micah 6:8, "He has shown thee, oh man, what is good and what the Lord requires of thee. To do justly, lvoe mercy and to walk humbly with thy God."

Three areas where I totally failed. I wasn't fair, wasn't merciful and was definitely NOT humble.

Glad we have a forgiving God.

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