Testimony Tuesday: Seeing Others As God Sees Them

I feel like my thoughts are really jumbled and I’m just writing them down as they come, so I think I go off on random tangents a lot. Especially today. I’m not really proof-reading any of my posts, so if they don’t make any sense, I sincerely apologize. Let me know, though, too. 🙂

People in the world judge others based on their outer beauty. This is definitely not fair to those of us who may not look the greatest, who may not have the most stylish clothes because of finances, or who don’t have the best reputation because of the family they were born into. In many ways, those are the people who are the most beautiful. You may have frizzy hair, a crooked nose, a funny smile. Your body may not be the average weight or be the “perfect size”. You might think you are unimportant to those around you, especially as youth thrown into a world that doesn’t understand or care about who you are as a person. Everyone is judged by their looks, money, family, or some other ridiculous thing. But let me tell you something:

None of that matters.

What matters is who you really are. We are trying to live worthily in a world that doesn’t understand how rich a person truly is based on how they show kindness, love, gratitude, faith, joy, and other divine characteristics. These are the things God judges us by. He sees who we are and knows us each personally.

1 Samuel 16:7 says: “But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for theLord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.”

Isaiah 55:8-9 says (a personal favorite of mine): “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

The girl who taught the Relief Society lesson on Sunday said: “Don’t put mortal limits on an immortal God.”

Though the lesson was about something completely different, I think this quote goes PERFECTLY with these scriptures. Man is mortal. We don’t know everything about anyone, but God does. He is the only person who has the right to judge anyone.

Matthew 7:1-2, 5: “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again… Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”

Who are we to judge others? Remember the story of the adulteress? She committed adultery and the people found out about it and wanted to stone her. But Jesus showed up and said “Ye that are without sin, let him cast the first stone.” Nobody, except Jesus, is perfect. We have all sinned at some point or another, probably already this week. I know I have. (Sin is not just big things like murder and adultery. It is small things too like little white lies, judging others (the whole point of this post. hemhem), etc etc. I’ll say it again NOBODY IS PERFECT. So we have no right to judge others.

HOWEVER, we do need to judge others so we can say whether or not they are trustworthy or good people. This type of judgment is called righteous judgment. It is explained pretty perfectly in a quote that I really love by Elder Dallin H. Oaks:

    • “…There are two kinds of judging: final judgements, which we are forbidden to make, and intermediate judgements, which we are directed to make, but upon righteous principles. I will speak about gospel judging. We should refrain from anything that seems to be a final judgment of any person, manifesting our determination to have final judgments to the Lord, who alone has the capacity to judge. In the intermediate judgments we must make, we should take care to judge righteously. We should seek the guidance of the Spirit in our own decisions. We should limit our judgments to our own stewardships. Whenever possible we should refrain from judging people until we have an adequate knowledge of the facts. So far as possible, we should judge circumstances rather than people. In all our judgments we should apply righteous standards. And, in all of this we must remember the command to forgive.” – Elder Dallin H. Oaks

I have a hard time with this every day. As soon as I see someone for the first time, I automatically look at what they’re wearing, the why they do their hair or make-up, the tattoos and piercings (if I’m not on BYU campus), etc and my first judgment of them is made. Often times I’ll catch myself and remember that they are sons and daughters of God, just like me. I remind myself that I need to assume they are probably good people until I meet them and get to know who they are for myself. I know that as we learn to see others the way God sees them (service is a great way to do that), we can develop a deep love and care for them and the worldly view of them will soon disappear.

Aaaaand I’ve gone WAY off course. My apologies. I meant this post to be about inner beauty and how women in the church (and many outside it as well) tend to have the gifts of seeing others in their true divine beauty.  I suppose that will be next week’s Testimony Tuesday. Or maybe later this week. 🙂 Enjoy your day. Love those around you and try to see them (and yourself) as God sees you.

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