From a behavioral perspective, it’s easy to label teens in either a good or bad categories. On the surface, we can see differences in individual’s lives.
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This kind of comparative assessment can be dangerous because it does not consider the heart of the person. Though you don’t want to make light of a person’s right behavior, you want to use discernment to understand what “good” is in a person.
The so-called good person could be a legalist, who has learned how to perform well in front of others. On the other hand, you could have a person whose “optics” are not as flattering, but this individual is a much better person from God’s perspective.
The widow in the New Testament (Luke 21:1-4) and the renowned sinner woman (Luke 7:36-50) are prime examples of people who did not meet acceptable social expectations, but Jesus perceived them as being worthy of His praise.
The widow lady was dirt poor, and the sinner woman was a societal outcast. Don’t fall into the trap of looking good on the outside while masking inner idolatries that need restoration from the Lord.
Time to Reflect
Spend some time assessing yourself on the two following things.
- Do you judge others primarily based on their appearance? What does that “behavioral perspective” about others reveal about you?
- The person who knows God has granted them much forgiveness, loves others well. How does God’s mercy to you motivate you to serve others?
Also published on Medium.