I spent part of my evening at church helping to load a 40-foot container with medical supplies to be shipped in advance of a mission trip to Zimbabwe. There were palletfulls of boxes of supplies waiting to be loaded.

Before we could load them, however, we first had to open each box, look inside, then write the contents on the top of the box before retaping, weighing and stacking the boxes inside the container. Even though many of the boxes were already labeled, we still had to open them because in some cases, what was on the label was not the same as what was inside.

How often do I find myself labeling someone without bothering to investigate what they’re really like on the inside? Even if they “wear” a label–like being the “tough guy” or the “snobby girl”, for instance–I should not assume that that’s what they’re actually like.

I’ve put up fronts before. I’ve pretended to have it all together, or to act like I don’t care, when I’m really hurting on the inside. Why should I assume that everyone else would be different?

I’m thankful that tonight’s work provided me with a reminder to be slow to judge someone, and to take the time to truly get to know them. Who knows what treasures I may be missing out on if I don’t take a look inside.