Dirty Laundry, or Dirty Windows | Enduring All Things

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Dirty Laundry, or Dirty Windows

"A young couple moves into a new neighborhood. The next morning while they are eating breakfast, the young woman sees her neighbor hanging the wash outside.

“That laundry is not very clean,” she said. “She doesn’t know how to wash correctly. Perhaps she needs better laundry soap.” 
Her husband looked on, but remained silent. 
Every time her neighbor would hang her wash to dry, the young woman would make the same comments. 
About one month later, the woman was surprised to see nice clean wash on the line and said to her husband: “Look, she has learned how to wash correctly. I wonder who taught her this?” 
The husband said, “I got up early this morning and cleaned our windows.” 
And so it is with life. What we see when watching others depends on the purity of the window through which we look."
Have you ever head this story? I just love it. It hits home with me because I am so guilty of this sometimes. I see someone and make snap judgements based on their appearance or situation and all I can see is the negative {I am not talking about judging based on actions or sins here. I mean just solely on appearance}. Sometimes I need to wash my windows and take a fresh look. Maybe I'll see something new and better.

It is so easy {at least for me} to see someone I don't even know and my brain automatically starts thinking about what they're wearing, who they are with, what they are doing, how they talk, you name it and I just assume I know what kind of person they are. Sometimes it's even a game. I love to people-watch and make up stories for the people I see in an airport, park, or mall. When it gets to be a problem though, is when you assume the worst based on appearance and let that cloud your judgement and affect any possible future relations with that person.
I'll give you an example. There is a lady I know who is single and has a small child. She has recently moved to a new town and new church. What do you think the people {especially women- it's just a fact} at this new church assumed about her situation? Well, I am sure they assumed she had the child out of wedlock. They figured she sinned and probably has repented of that sin, but it will still always be in the back of their minds. Well guess what, none of that is true. This lady has never been married and lived by herself for a while. She finally decided she wanted a family and some responsibility so she started the adoption process. A while later, she was given the most wonderful gift, a little girl of her own. Not only was that child a gift to her, but she gave the child the gift of a mother. I respect her so much for this.

Along the same lines, sometimes I see families out in public who's children can't seem to control themselves. I usually assume that it's the parents fault. Maybe they don't discipline them enough or maybe they are making up for something so they let the kid do whatever he or she wants. But it was recently brought to my attention that all kids have different personalities. Some kids are more difficult to handle than others and some even have real mental issues that make listening hard.
The point of all this is that I am trying to be better about making snap judgements. I want to clean my windows so that I can see clearly. I want my mind to be pure so that I can love people like Jesus did no matter what they look like or how their situation seems. I wouldn't want someone to see me walking down the street and think mean things about me or assume the worst. They don't know my story. So I don't want to do that to others either. For all I know, the homeless guy that sits outside that one building every day had everything taken away from him and all this is our of his control. Or maybe he chose this life so that he could help others in need.

I've been trying to give others the benefit of the doubt and get to know the person inside instead of just going off the outward appearance or situation. We all have bad days. Lets build each other up in our minds and only assume the best! Are you with me?
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