We would try to work out what kind of job they had and what their hobbies would be just by looking at them.
Job 21: 1-34
Reference: v.13 They spend their years in prosperity and go down to the grave in peace. (TNIV Bible)
Explore: I have always enjoyed people watching. Not in a weird, stalker kind of way (!) but I'm always intrigued at how people act when they don't realise someone is watching them. I used to sit in shopping centres and watch the people pass me by. It was always interesting to wonder what they were thinking as they looked in the shops or interacted with their companions. Then when I would go out with a friend we would look at a person and guess what their life was like. We would try to work out what kind of job they had and what their hobbies would be just by looking at them. We never found out what they really did but it was an entertaining way for us to pass the time.
Application: While it may be fun guessing, you can not know what someone else's life is like just by looking at them. And yet we make these judgements all the time. If I see a good looking person laughing with some friends in a cafe I automatically assume that everything is perfect in her life. And yet if we start to scratch the surface we soon find that that is not always true. Job's friends assumed that because Job had experienced so many hardships he must have been living a life of sin. But Job points out to them that there are many people who life a live that seems extremely fruitful and yet they are not following God at all. We can't assume we know someone's hobbies just by how they look and we can't assume we know someone's faith status just by how happy they are in life. Our natural instinct is to judge others when we really should not assume we know what someone else is experiencing.
Prayer: Lord, when we are going through difficult times it's easy for us to think that everyone else has it better. May we not compare ourselves to others but only look to becoming more like You. Amen.
If someone were to observe your life, how would they judge you? If they scratched below the surface, would their opinion change?
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This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.