i felt ashamed in church

@cynthiann (18629)
Jamaica
March 16, 2009 1:43pm CST
yesterday. I made it just in time for the service and took the nearest seat next to an Amercian tourist. (He was wearing a wrist band from a hotel) He had very long hippy style length hair and a vest that exposed a great deal of skin. This skin was full of tatoos. He was also wearing short shorts and his legs had lots of tatoos too. I wondered why he was at Church as I thought that he was not dressed appropriately and well, to be honest - the look of him - did not make me think that he went regularly to Church. He was on his own and this I found puzzling as I thought that a wife had made him accompany her. After about 15 mins or so, I felt myself go hot with embarrassment. He sung the hymns with sincerity and took part in our service with a deep reverence. His joy in poarticipating in the service literally was a joy to see. I took my left foot and kicked my right ankle. How could I have judged this man by his appearance? Have yo ever misjudged a person by their appearance?
20 people like this
43 responses
16 Mar 09
Everyone makes mistakes like that. What is important is that you learned from it. You probably didn't need to kick yourself literally though. Things are funny like that though. I've known big, hairy, leather-clad bikers to help old ladies across the road with their groceries. It's definitely better to keep an open mind about people.
@cynthiann (18629)
• Jamaica
16 Mar 09
I had forgotten not to judge - I had no right to judge. Yes, I really needed to kick myself so it will be a permanent reminder. many thanks
@lilybug (21182)
• United States
16 Mar 09
I think it has happened to everyone at least once in their lifetime. As much as you can try to not be judgmental about someone it is hard sometimes. It is good to see that you realized that you judged him wrong. This experience might help you to not misjudge someone next time. I hope you are having a good day today.
2 people like this
@cynthiann (18629)
• Jamaica
16 Mar 09
I really hope that it will help me not to judge. I do not want to end up a like a fuddy duddy who criticises everyone in Church. I told my children to shoot me if this happens:) The day is good apart from being tires. I had to go to the villa at 1 am this morning and take a man to hospital with a suspected heart attack. Thank God he did not have one but waited with him for tests etc so got t bed at 4.30 am. Up at 6.30 am so I will go to bed with the twins tonight!
2 people like this
@lilybug (21182)
• United States
16 Mar 09
Sounds like a rough night. I am glad the man did not really have a heart attack.
2 people like this
@MsTickle (25006)
• Australia
18 Mar 09
It's not a question of whether or not you should judge someone for their appearance. You can't have been paying much attention to the service for all the time you were giving this guy and your own thoughts and feelings. I thought Christians went to church to commune with God and give him praise??? Seems to me they are paying attention to anything but God.
2 people like this
@cynthiann (18629)
• Jamaica
19 Mar 09
Please don't judge all Christians by my action. He ws so outlandish that I was distracted at first. You have every right to chastise me but I have learnt my lesson. I do not normally behave that way. Christ came for sinners - not the perfect ones! Many blessings
1 person likes this
@Annmac (950)
17 Mar 09
Anyone who hasn't is either a young child or a liar! We all judge people first by appearance as that's the first thing you notice, and by our own views of what is right or wrong about their appearance. What made you think he didn't attend church regularly? His hair? His tattoos? Or the fact he was wearing 'casual' clothes? None of them are an indication of his faith but the very fact he was in the church was a clear indication he had it! Jesus (if he appeared as the Biblical version - so as to be recognised) would have hippy style appearance! Long hair, a simple robe instead of a suit and probably open toed sandals! I'm as guilty as the next person of making assumptions about people but I do try hard not to! I've been proven wrong or been unfairly judged myself too often to think it's fair!
2 people like this
@cynthiann (18629)
• Jamaica
17 Mar 09
I live on the Caribbean Island and he had a hotel band around his wristso, he was not a regular parishioner. I totally misjudged the man and felt terrible about doing so. he was so sincere and devout in his participation in the service. many thanks for responding
1 person likes this
@makingpots (11928)
• United States
16 Mar 09
Aww, cynthiann, what a nice discussion to share with us. I appreciate your honesty and your heart. Yes, of course I have misjudged others in the past. I try to learn from it and only hope I would have as much character to share it as you have here for others to learn from. Thanks for this uplifting post!
2 people like this
@cynthiann (18629)
• Jamaica
16 Mar 09
During the 'sign of peace' instead of shaking his hand I gave him a big hug and thanked him for worshipping with us. I don't know what he thought but it did help me to feel a bit better about misjudging him. Thank yo for your very kind words.
2 people like this
@Polly1 (12650)
• United States
16 Mar 09
Your human, you just learned a valuable lesson. Because we are human, sometimes we are too quick to judge others by their appearance. Its wrong and we know its wrong, we just have to do our best to be more accepting and non judgemental. I try my best not to judge others like that, but like I said we are human and it does happen. Good for you that you were able to see his joy and realise that you were wrong in judging him.
2 people like this
@cynthiann (18629)
• Jamaica
16 Mar 09
His joy in worshipping was amazing and I was humbled by him. I learned a lesson in not judging p[eople yesterday. Thanks for responding
2 people like this
@cher913 (25895)
• Canada
16 Mar 09
certainly we have all done this. (judged, i mean) the church i go to is baptist but we get a lot of university students, so dress for our church is pretty casual. but i dont wear jeans to church, i was just brought up that you dont and well, i am old lol! i do wear pants though which i never would say 10 years ago! it all depends on what you are brought up. yesterday at our church, the person who does the Bible reading mentioned that we need to have an open mind(in his prayer) so i think that is the key!
2 people like this
@cynthiann (18629)
• Jamaica
16 Mar 09
I also wear pants - especially if I am coming from work. But this man was in a vest and short , short pants. I should not have judged him.
2 people like this
• United States
16 Mar 09
Yes, I am afraid that we all have misjudged a person by their appearance. I am no exception. This is such a heart-warming story. How wonderful our God is to bring things to our attention in such a loving way. I think that this experience will go with you the rest of your life and serve you well. I know that this will also go with me, even though I was not there to experience it. It sounds as if this man's inner temple (spirit) truly was a place that God could enjoy living in. God bless you for sharing this.
@cynthiann (18629)
• Jamaica
16 Mar 09
You are very kind and too generous towards me in your comments. Thak you for your input. god Bless.
2 people like this
@chertsy (3817)
• United States
18 Mar 09
My problem is that I'm to open hearted. I don't judge people by their appearance, and I can make friends easily. It's later that I find that these certain people that I honestly thought where friends, were just back talkers. I would think after 32 years of my lifetime that I would have learned by now. I'm glad that you saw past the appearance of this man and saw what was truly there. Many people don't ever get past that, and rather not do so. That's the reason I stopped going to church. To many people gossiping about what others wear, what they looked like etc. Church is a place that everyone goes to worship the Lord, not a fashion show, not a out do the Jones, just to praise the Lord.
1 person likes this
@cynthiann (18629)
• Jamaica
18 Mar 09
I am in a hundred percent agreement with you. At my church people do chat about what others wear. I just walk away when that happens. However, I should not have judged
2 people like this
@chertsy (3817)
• United States
19 Mar 09
cynthiann However, I should not have judged This means your human
1 person likes this
@carmelanirel (21108)
• United States
17 Mar 09
Don't be so hard on yourself, that is human nature to judge people, even though we know that we shouldn't..My daughter for instance would go to church with goth clothes and makeup, but she wasn't bad, maybe confused, but not bad. so when I see someone who dresses like that, I find I am interested, because if you look, some are very artistic in their make up and clothes..
@cynthiann (18629)
• Jamaica
18 Mar 09
You are very kind to me. However, I will not do it again. Thaks for responding
2 people like this
• United States
18 Mar 09
Well I believe everyone has been on one or both sides of judgement, I have been on both sides, and that fact that you realized that you were wrong is a step in the right direction, so keep the faith and G♥d bless...
1 person likes this
@jdyrj777 (6558)
• United States
17 Mar 09
No, i dont judge people the way you did this man at first. Im happy for you that in the end you made complete change of views of him. Im sure that was some divine intervention there.
@cynthiann (18629)
• Jamaica
18 Mar 09
divine intervention - I had not thought of it this way. You are right. Blessings
1 person likes this
@jdyrj777 (6558)
• United States
18 Mar 09
Yea. Blessings!!!
1 person likes this
@deejean06 (1953)
• United States
17 Mar 09
Please don't feel ashamed - everyone does it at some point in their lives... The important part is to try not to do it again which is also a stretch for some of us. It's not so easy to greet everyone with a smile and an open mind. But we get a chance to begin fresh every day and that's all I can do.
@cynthiann (18629)
• Jamaica
17 Mar 09
Thank you for your kind and encouraging words. I have repented and have learnt from this horrible mistake
1 person likes this
@deejean06 (1953)
• United States
17 Mar 09
If we were all perfect we wouldn't need to go to church...
1 person likes this
@loved1 (5338)
• United States
17 Mar 09
That just shows you are human, Cynthiann. It is our nature to judge one another and we have to conciously decide not to do that each day. I loved reading your post though, because something you said mirrored my own thoughts. I go to a fairly large Vineyard church, and a wide variety of people attend. I enjoy worshipping with all of the people in my church, but there are certain people who warm my heart more than others. I love to see the ones with prison tattoos, scars, and other signs that they have had a rough time of life, standing with their hands lifted in adoration to the Lord. These are the ones who can fully appreciate what it feels like to have their chains removed and be free. Sure, it is my nature to judge them, but I think part of the reason why that happens is because the media has made the way they look a stereotype. We have to make a concious effort to see others as God sees them. Don't beat yourself up over this. He loves you, He loves you, He loves you!
1 person likes this
@cynthiann (18629)
• Jamaica
17 Mar 09
I feel humbled by your response. You are so right. Pray God, that, if it is His will, then I will reach your spiritual level. God Bless You , dmy freind in Christ.
2 people like this
@loved1 (5338)
• United States
17 Mar 09
Aw thanks! All the glory goes to God though. Without Him I am nothing. Have a great day!
1 person likes this
@mtdewgurl74 (18122)
• United States
17 Mar 09
It is strange how that happens isn't it. I have seen others like that as well. He appeared to be a biker in all black leather and even had a big Harley our front that was his. But you know when he sung he sang So beautiful and even put in a larger offering in the offering plate and after church he thanked the preacher for a nice service and says that no matter where he is he always finds a church to attend on Sunday, something he promised his mom he would do and walk closer with the lord. But from the looks of him you would think he would look more in place at a bar. I guess we do judge to much sometimes on looks. But he was a teddy bear..and soft spoken.
1 person likes this
@cynthiann (18629)
• Jamaica
17 Mar 09
I should have recognised Jesus in this man. Thak you for sharing - I so appreciate what you wrote
1 person likes this
@mtdewgurl74 (18122)
• United States
17 Mar 09
It is hard not to to judge sometimes when we get used to a certain way and everyone always wearing their Sunday best so when we see someone not going with the flow of things we automatically judge..it is a natural thing when things are out of the ordinary..
1 person likes this
@moondancer (7434)
• United States
16 Mar 09
I know that many people do judge others and wrongfully so. I would have welcomed him to church and even offered for him to go to lunch with us since he seemed to be alone. Being new and if he had another with him I would have offered to take them to lunch. You don't know people and what they are about until you spend time with them. I've been told I'm a friendly person. Some people take this wrong and think I do things that I don't. I am just a people person and I'm friendly. I will talk to anyone and have, lol. Maybe others will read this and do things differently in the future. It's nice of you to tell this story since it didn't put you in a really good light at first. Being honest is a good quality. Thank you for this discussion.
1 person likes this
@cynthiann (18629)
• Jamaica
17 Mar 09
What happens is that the hotel in which they are staying put on transportation for them to attend church. They drop them off and pick them up after the service to go back to the hotel. I did give him a hug ans welcomed him to our church during the sign of peace. Yes, I was horrible to judge.
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Mar 09
It was only a momentary laspe in judgement that will make you stop and think if it happens again.
@ANTIQUELADY (36491)
• United States
16 Mar 09
sure. think we all have done that. i can see why you'd think that tho. doesn't sound like he was dressed for church. i'm sure the people who have tats al over them are nice people but i personally think they are disgusting looking.
1 person likes this
@cynthiann (18629)
• Jamaica
17 Mar 09
I do not like tatoos either so I expect this coloured my opinion of him initially. Thaks for responding
2 people like this
@ANTIQUELADY (36491)
• United States
17 Mar 09
u did good tho!
1 person likes this
@1hopefulman (22531)
• Canada
19 Mar 09
Yes, I have! I'm glad when the facts are not the same as the conclusions I've reached. Good not judge by first appearances. They don't always tell the true and whole story. Thanksfully God judges the heart condition. 1 Samuel 16:7 (Young's Literal Translation) 7And Jehovah saith unto Samuel, `Look not unto his appearance, and unto the height of his stature, for I have rejected him; for [it is] not as man seeth -- for man looketh at the eyes, and Jehovah looketh at the heart.' 1 Samuel 16:7 (New International Version) 7 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 man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."
1 person likes this
@cynthiann (18629)
• Jamaica
19 Mar 09
Thank you so much for responding. You asre right in what you say. God Bless you.
1 person likes this
@Jezebella (1447)
• United States
19 Mar 09
I think a lot of people misjudge people with tattoos and the way they dress. A lot of people I know, myself included have tattoos and things but I am strong in my faith. I don't think there is a specific way a person should look or dress to attend church.
1 person likes this
@cynthiann (18629)
• Jamaica
19 Mar 09
You are totally correct and I behaved like an old fuddy duddy. I am old but never thought of myself as a fuddy duddy! Lol. I leanrt a valuable lesson. Thank you for responding
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Mar 09
dont judge a man by looks. even if he had to put that on to church, i bet he came for God and not you so it is between him and God.. so feel free to people you meet in church even if they do the worst things let it be God who will judge them.. thanks
1 person likes this
@cynthiann (18629)
• Jamaica
17 Mar 09
You are right. He came for God and not me. Thanks for responding
1 person likes this
@csrobins (1125)
• United States
17 Mar 09
I am glad you realized your thinking pattersn were judgmental. THis is teh same thing Christ talked about when the Pharisees were too good to help the poor or the sinners. I too think thoughts like this whether in church or elsewhere sometimes too. I forget how blessed I am to have so much nice stuff and I realized I am down right spoiled to think people should dress a certain way to worship God but that is how I grew up. It is difficult for us not to immediately think thoughts like this. But it is good when we can recognize it and stop them.
@cynthiann (18629)
• Jamaica
17 Mar 09
Thak yo for your very understanding response. You have hit the nail on the head with your thinking. Thank you also for responding. Have a blessed day.
1 person likes this