Tag: Relationships

first impressions

How great it is to be proven wrong.

I mean that. It’s great to be proven wrong when there’s a happy ending.

Especially when God is the one doing the “proving”. Let me explain.

My husband and I have been in many Bible study groups over the years. They are now usually called “small groups”. Pretty much the same thing. Last week was the first meeting. We came home and discussed whether we were going to continue. It’s an unusual group of people. (Remember, we are in it as well. You get what I mean, don’t you?)

Actually, had the biggest problem. Here’s why.

There’s this woman (Let’s call her “Mary”) at church. (You know what I mean. Come on, now) She and her husband often sit in the same row as my husband and me. She dresses beautifully and her makeup is always perfect. That’s it. She’s never been rude or ignored me. Nope, her only flaw is that she’s just perfectly put together. I just wasn’t sure we would hit it off because I don’t always like to be perfectly groomed. I like getting my hands dirty. I like wearing jeans. I just wasn’t sure that at this stage of my life I even wanted to make the effort to meet someone so different.

So you can imagine how I felt the first week when her husband was there. She was ill that night but obviously, she was going to be attending.

I knew this was not a “sin” issue. I also knew, though, that it wasn’t necessarily not a sin issue. In other words, it would’ve been had I let it simmer. That’s how most sin starts anyway, with a simmer.

simmering sin

I thought about the group itself.  I thought about “Mary” and mused, “What if she needs me to be in the group”? What if all this is about “her”?

We just don’t put stock in our own desirability sometimes. We don’t see our own value in the life of others. We usually are thinking about how other people can meet our needs or make us feel good, not how we can do that for them. It’s just human nature but it’s not God’s nature, is it? We get so absorbed with our own needs we completely forget about how others might need us rather than the other way around.

And it does take some work to be in a group such as this. There’s a responsibility to be involved and join in the conversation. One just can’t sit there like a lump.

So we got there and my husband moved on to the other room and I stayed in the living room to talk to our hostess. We were having a nice conversation when “Mary” walked in. I never hesitated for a moment. I went right up to her and immediately struck up a conversation.

And I liked her. She didn’t seem the least bit pretentious. Her appearance belied her gentle nature. So now, not only is she perfectly groomed and perfectly made-up, she’s as nice as can be!!! A triple whammy.

judging by appearance

As it turned out,  my husband and I both liked everyone very much. They are an interesting and highly intelligent group. Good people. Sincere people.

And I learned about a profession I knew nothing about. From “Mary”. Oh, I forgot to add, she’s also very intelligent and runs her own business from her home. (OK, God, I get it. You can quit now.)

The evening is over and people are milling around. The hostess, myself, and “Jane” struck up a conversation. Come to find out “Jane”   has a most unusual occupation. Well, not the occupation exactly. She’s an employment recruiter. It’s the profession that she specializes in that is so interesting. She recruits for “Flavor Chemists”. I kid you not. There really is such a thing.

I learned all about molecules and how few there are of them that make up the flavors we enjoy. Some of them cross over into smells, like in perfumes, like “Warm Vanilla Sugar” from Bath and Body Works. Most flavor chemists have a Ph.D. and seven more years of training after that. Fascinating, huh? You can learn about the profession here.

We live in a smallish town and these jobs are in big cities, like New York. Ummm, that’s where she shops for her clothes. (At this point, I’m done. (“OK, God, I learned my lesson. You really can stop loading it on.”)

As I was talking to her, I couldn’t help but think how wrong I had been and how glad I was that I had decided to purposely converse with her. I had been somewhat chagrined about feeling that way about someone I didn’t know and I didn’t want to keep feeling that way.

God had provided a way for me to be redeemed from my own foolishness.

And I was grateful.

You see, I feel blessed that God loves me enough to let me learn some lessons the hard way.

It’s nice to be proven wrong when the outcome is so good.

I’m looking forward to getting to know these people, especially “Mary”. I have no idea if we’ll be good friends. But I’m hoping that by giving her a chance, someone will give me that same chance in the future. And as far as I know, they already could have. (Actually, I know they have. About twenty years ago, I was asked to give my testimony before our church because I was going to begin a speaking ministry and our pastor didn’t want it said that I hadn’t shared at my own church first. Afterward, quite a few people came up to me to express their surprise to learn about my history. As one person put it, (to quote an old cliche) “We all thought you had been born with a silver spoon in your mouth.” Mmmm. What goes around comes around.)

Truly, God makes us all unique. We don’t have to like everyone, but we do have to give everyone a chance.

I hope my story-I-wish-I-didn’t-have-to-admit-t0, helps you as you meet the people in your life. And, remember, your appearance, your talents, and abilities, your style of dress, etc, may well be a barrier for someone else even if you never intended it.

1 Samuel 16:7 English Standard Version (ESV)

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. (meaning the men that had already been presented to Samuel).For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”

God bless and have a good day.

 

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