Thought For The Day 02/10/14

Standard

Stereotypes

Post 1062

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Stereotypes

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“Instead of being presented with stereotypes by age, sex, color, class, or religion, children must have the opportunity to learn that within each range, some people are loathsome and some are delightful.” 

Margaret Mead

http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/stereotypes

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How often do we encounter someone and try to figure out everything we can about them and “what makes them tick” simply by looking at them? I know that, as unfair as it may seem, nearly every human being that draws breath, will judge another solely by the way they look or speak, at some time during their lifetime. And sometimes it can be those quick “judgements” we make about some of the people, things or circumstances we encounter, that can keep us safe. For example, if we are alone in a place that is dark and isolated, and we encounter a group of people who are openly drinking and who are boisterous, we will likely listen to that inner voice we are all blessed with, and choose to leave rather than risk an encounter with someone who has the potential to pose a threat of harm to us. It is during these times that we find some value in allowing a stereotype to guide our behavior. However, when it comes to people and our interactions with them on a day-to-day basis, we should NEVER allow our preconceived notions to dictate how we will act. Yes, the old adage is true. We can no more understand what lies within the covers of any tome simply by reading the words contained on the cover!

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Now in an effort at admonishing our propensity to judge, we are likely to use the following passage from Matthew 7:1-2 ESV as a caveat to temper our actions. I have used the words myself when my selfish actions spoke louder than my faith. “Judge not, that you be not judged.For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.” The thing is that this passage and others like it refer to judgment made by the eye of man based on man’s standards, not God’s. And while it is an excellent reminder to us that we need to remember that, when we view someone with a jaded eye, we act in a way that is not pleasing to God. However, consider this next verse from John 7:24 NKJV, which gives us tacit approval to judge others with an eye toward righteousness. “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.” So it’s no wonder that we are confused in the way we should act and react to others.

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God gives man the gift of discernment, but He also gives us a caveat to go along with it. This type of judgement must be judiciously wielded. We must take all precautions to mete our judgement fairly and properly. So how do we accomplish this, when it goes against the grain of everything we are taught from a young age about the fact that the playing field between people should always be a level one? We must learn to exercise due diligence in all of our interactions with others. Look always to the truth of the situations we face every day and if you are in doubt, turn the question inward and ask yourself three things:

  • YES or NO:     Is what I am doing causing another to feel pain?
  • YES or NO:     If the shoe were on the other foot, would my response be the same?
  • YES or NO:     Can I live and be content with the consequences of my action?

If your answer to the first is NO, and to the last two, YES, then you are exercising your gift in a way that aligns with the standards God sets, rather than the standards man decides. And always remember one last thing. Man never has the last word on any issue that is a matter for debate! The last word rests solely with the one whom we all will face when our mortal lives are finished! Romans 14:10 NIV, pretty well sums it all up. “You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.”

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“The LORD shall judge the peoples; Judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness, And according to my integrity within me. 9 Oh, let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end, But establish the just; For the righteous God tests the hearts and minds.”

Psalm 7: 8-9 NKJV

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Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry

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About Mandy Bruscella

Mandy's Story: As a Registered Professional Nurse with Certification in a number of specialties including home care, I was afforded the opportunity of working closely with various Social Service Agencies in NY and NJ. ~ A lifelong Christian, I was ordained as a Presbyterian deacon in 1993 and, after relocating to SC in 2000, elected to become ordained as a non-denominational minister. ~ I established "MandysPath" Ministry in 2011. "MandysPath" Ministry is a member of Pacific Life Church, El Sobrante, CA, network of ministries. ~ I direct an outreach ministry in an alternative setting, providing spiritual care to a congregation of more than 500 people from around the world via the Internet. ~ As part of this outreach, I write a daily faith based blog. In March, 2012 I was asked to become a board member of Heroes For Children which is a non-profit foundation, established to assists the Guardian ad Litem program of Horry County, SC. Guardians ad Litem are a group of court appointed advocates who represent the best interests of children in Family Court proceedings involving allegations of abuse or neglect. Working closely with these men and women who make a difference in the lives of children, I completed training and have been sworn in to serve as a Guardian ad Litem for the state of South Carolina . ~ I have been married since 1975 to a wonderful man, Daniel. I have a son Daniel and his wife Melissa who live in NYC. My daughter Sabrina and my grandson Landon live here in SC. ~ My father Harold continues to share his wisdom with me and is responsible for many of the ideas I write about!

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