- Galatians 5:13-26
- Matthew 7:12-20
Early Thoughts: How do we judge something? By appearance or by substance? How do we judge ourselves and each other? By our words or our deeds? By our appearance or our substance? By our beliefs or our actions?
The passages we read this week make it clear that substance, actions and deeds count more than appearance, words (although to be fair words can be counted as deeds or actions), or beliefs. And this is hardly news to most of us. Remember the old adage about not judging a book by its cover?
Now of course we all tend to judge books by their cover. For me the thing that will make me take a second look at a book is usually the title, possibly along with the author's name and the cover art. And in the end we tend to do the same with people. Just watch how people react to a picture shown of a "person of interest" in a crime story. If the picture makes them look slovenly or dis-sheveled people jump to the conclusion that they are somehow in the wrong. (I would point out that many of us have pictures of ourselves where we may look like less than prime citizens)
In the same way people make assumptions about how we will react to issues based on our membership is certain groups. Or because of our position in society. Or because of our age/skin tone/gender/sexual orientation....
THe passages this week tell us to look beyond all these things. Yes where we came from, who we hang around with, our place in society are important. Yes they help shape who we are. But they do not necessarily define us. What should define us (for both our self-definition and how other define us) is the fruit that we bear.
So what fruit do you bear?