Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Categories of Life

As I get older, and hopefully wiser, I start to see things and people around me more clearly. I find it easier to let things go, and to not be offended by what people do, because I've come to realize that we're all just human.

I used to see people as Good or Bad. There were some people who were close to me that were somewhere in the middle but for the most part, I would categorize people into those two categories, without even realizing it completely.

People at my church were more than likely Good, while there were some people outside of church that I heard about that were Bad. Family was mostly Good, but some were Bad. And Bad people would switch categories depending on how I felt about them at the time.

Remember, I was doing this subconsciously without thinking it through. There was no logic or reason for any of it.

But then we started traveling. First we went on deputation and met many different varieties of people. I started having a tough time figuring out who was Good and who was Bad. Then someone who was in my Good category hurt me deeply, and that person was moved to Bad. This upset my world and made me view everyone I knew with new eyes, and I had to start re-categorizing everyone I knew, because I didn't know who was Good and who was Bad anymore.

I started really struggling with this when we started working in churches and would really get to know the Pastor and his family, and their church members. One Pastor in particular would rotate from Good to Bad to Good, back to Bad in a single day. It was very stressful for me and extremely confusing to my psyche.

Then I had another tragic thing happened, and another person who was high on my Good list suddenly became very Bad and my brain couldn't process it. How could this be? How could a person go from being Good to Bad after one single conversation? Could I trust anyone? Was everyone lying to me and pretending to be Good when they're really Bad? I even started to doubt my Salvation. Was I such a bad judge of character because I didn't have God's Spirit and wisdom inside of me to guide me?

I talked it over with my husband many, many times and he told me verses like Mark 10:8 "And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? [there is] none good but one, [that is], God." and Psalm 14:3 "They are all gone aside, they are [all] together become filthy: [there is] none that doeth good, no, not one."

These are verses that I had heard all growing up, and could quote with him. But God saved them for when I really needed them. I started seeing people from a new light. I put everyone in the Bad category and then changed the name to Human. Because that's all we really are anyway, is Human.

Now there are subcategories like: Kind-of Creepy; Untrustworthy; Probably Okay, But Don't Trust Yet; and other similar categories.

And then there are my favorite categories: Friend; Prayer Warrior; Gives Great Hugs; Great Sense of Humor; Strong, and others. These categories sometimes blend together, and sometimes the good categories and bad categories blend together.

But the main thing that helps me keep them all in focus is that they're all under Human. We're all just Human and sometimes we're good, sometimes we're bad, sometimes we're somewhere in the middle. But because of God's mercy, love, and grace He loves us anyway. And it isn't up to me to decide who is Good or Bad, it's only up to me to follow God's example of "Loving Anyway".

Titus 3:5 "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;"

God doesn't judge our works and put us into Good or Bad categories. His only category is "Forgiven" with two subcategories: Saved or Unsaved. And we have that choice to accept His love and forgiveness, or to deny it. But either way we're forgiven and loved.

Have you accepted that forgiveness or are you still trying to fit yourself into a Good category that doesn't exist?

Are you stumbling through life not sure of whom you can trust, and always afraid of who will fail you? Only God can be a constant in your life, everyone else is just human. Give your expectations and works to God, and be free from the bondage of using works to earn favor.


  1. All I can say is AMEN!!! I find myself doing this to my own self. Thank you so very much for sharing!

  2. This is great! Thank you for sharing!