I want to talk today about how we “measure” people. We measure them by their looks, their income status, their actions, their habits. My kids notice everything about people – I mean EVERYTHING. Talia will remember what someone had on fifteen years ago (you know, Mom, that girl at the Hi-Y conference in Jackson Mills when I was a sophomore that had on that checked shirt and sat at the front left of the crowd). Are you kidding me? I’m supposed to remember that? I do not remember or notice what anyone wears, what their hair looks like, how tall they are – NOTHING. I don’t know if I’ve trained my brain not to care about these things or if I am just deficient in this area. I know one thing: I would be a terrible eye witness!
Tal had this friend that she would say always said “eem.” I’m like, “What do you mean, she says ‘eem’?” She says, “You know, I like eem. Do you like eem?” Him, of course. I would have never noticed. They notice that someone says “huh” at the end of every sentence. They notice that Grandma used to say “roined” instead of “ruined.” “You’ll roin your dinner.” She doesn’t say it that way anymore, by golly, as she’s been trained now. We all know people who way “warsh” rather than “wash.” Do you notice these things? Do you measure people by the way they talk or the things they say?
If I measured my relationship with my husband by the amount of time he sits on the couch all snuggled up with me, he would be in bad shape. If I measured him by the gifts he buys me for holidays and anniversaries, he would be in bad shape. (Although I have told him not to and he allows me to get whatever I want whenever I want it – much better!) If I measured him by the hours he spends at the farm on weekends and not with me, he would be in bad shape. Instead, I choose to measure him by all the love he showers over me, all the times he tells me I’m the best thing that ever happened to him, by the fact that if I need him, he drops everything and is there for me, by all the good that is in this man that I am married to. We can view the glass half full, or we can view it half empty, and that measurement we make will determine if our days are positive or negative.
When Tom was first thinking about running for judge, he sits me down and he says, “Do you think you can stand living in the fishbowl?” I say, “What are you talking about? What fishbowl?” He says, “If I run for judge, we will be in a fishbowl. People will watch what we drive, where we live, how our children act, will criticize my decisions, will criticize you. We will constantly be under scrutiny.” I thought about it a while, and I think I worried about it a bit, and I ended up realizing that I was too busy to sit around and worry about whether someone liked me or liked him or was mad or judged us for things that meant nothing, and I decided if there was a fishbowl, I would just have to try to deal with it. I learned very young in my life that I did not answer to people, but I answered to God, and God was big enough and loud enough to put me in check when I needed it, and if I just made my goal to try to please God and do my best to get along with people, it all works out.
Over the past few years, I have been praying that Jesus would give me HIS eyes, eyes that see people by their potential and not by their problem. I have been praying that God would bring wrecked people into my path, into my life, people who need a Savior. I have been praying that all these measurements that we use would fall away, and we would begin to see the drug addict not as a criminal, a liar, a thief but we would see that as a soul who made a disastrous choice at one time – a choice to reach out and try something, perhaps not knowing that that substance would totally take over their life and destroy them and their families from within. I have been praying that we would see the woman caught in adultery like Jesus saw her – a soul wrecked by sin and by the pain of her reputation and her way of living – and to her, he said not a word of judgment, but instead, “Go and sin no more.” This is who our Jesus is, and this is who I want to be.
What about you? Are you constantly measuring people, situations, your life? Ask Jesus to give you HIS eyes – it will open up an entire new world of opportunity – places to serve, people to help, no anger and judgment but just the love of Christ. This is where we need to be….lay down that ruler.
My name is Teresa Evans. I am a wife to Tom, a retired Circuit Judge, and I am a court reporter by trade, a mother by God's grace and a lover of Jesus Christ. I've grown up in a family blessed with many miracles, and have received multiple miracles myself.