Devotions, Life Challenge, Workforce

Two Strikes

Read: James 5:7-11

“Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this—not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way.” – Romans 14:13 NASB

As a retail worker, one of my greatest frustrations has always been the abundance of customers willing to judge me not according to my knowledge or qualifications, but by my sex.  Long ago it was determined that women should be permitted to vote, hold down a steady job, and compete with others on an academic level.  Still, there are some people who seem totally unaware of this development and treat women as though they are less than competent to answer their questions… simply because they are not men.

Not too infrequently, I would respond to an inquiry about our product only to hear my customer utter the words, “Isn’t there a man I can talk to?”  And, not too infrequently, I would be forced to search the store for “a man” with whom the customer could converse.

One of the greatest pleasures when dealing with one of these customers is standing quietly to the side while “the man” shares exactly the same information with the patron that I shared just moments earlier.

I was discussing my frustration with the owner of the company one afternoon after he had adequately filled the role of “a man”.   “You see,” he explained, “It’s unfortunate, but with a lot of men, if you’re a woman, that’s one strike against you and if you’re under fifty, that’s two strikes.”

Sadly, as Christians we can also fall prey to the same attitudes.  While age, race, sex, denomination, or religious history should not be allowed to invalidate a person’s witness, we often allow them to cloud our vision – and miss what God would share with us through the lives of other believers.  Perhaps this is why the Apostle Paul took such pains to warn the early Church not to judge one another, but to do their best to support each other in their walk.  The Church today, must do the same!

Challenge:  How do you judge those around you?  Do you make determinations about them based upon presuppositions about “people like them”?  Or are you taking the time to get to know individuals?  This week, commit to pay special attention to the other Christians in your life – and get to know them for who they really are, not just who you (or others) perceive them to be!