“Are you old enough to be driving?”
“Yes sir, I’m 21.”
Do I really look so young? I am five years past the minimum legal driving age. Was it a judgment on my driving technique? I had just expertly maneuvered my mother’s minivan into a parking space. Was he teasing? I don’t think so. Even though he laughed, it’s generally accepted that you only tease people you know. I did not know this man. So, I know that I’ve already talked about “age assumptions,” but even if it is not something that is terribly important, it sure does get under my skin.
As humans, I know that we judge based on appearances. It is a shortcoming that seems to be hardwired into our personalities. Certainly, I have been guilty of it myself. However, God calls us to look beyond appearances.
- 1 Timothy 4:12, which has been quoted to us at graduations: “Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.” My part in this, of course, is to be the example. Yet, it would certainly help if others would take care of the first sentence.
- 1 Corinthians 4:1 -13 – Paul wrote this passage to the Corinthians to condemn their self-righteousness, but he also told them to stop judging others. Paul declares that God will be the only judge of character because He can see a person’s motives in addition to actions and appearances.
Obviously, this man had every right to be concerned when he thought that I was too young to be driving. I would have been putting him, his family, and myself at risk if I were driving when I was not allowed. However, his rude behavior was entirely unnecessary.
Dear readers, please consider how you treat other people. Do not admonish the people you meet for their age, whether you believe they are too young or too old. Every stage of life is a gift from God with ample opportunities to learn and grow into exactly who He wants you to be. We should never judge someone or try to change someone to fit our own expectations.