As I was in a shop earlier today I heard a woman complaining to the man that she was with that they had taken too longs shopping.
Initially, I found this really funny but then I found it really sad that I had bought into the stereotype that all women like shopping.
Stereotypes are often unhelpful, you know the sort of thing:
Blonde women are dumb
Football supporters are all hooligans
Christians are all judgmental
Muslims are all terrorists
Politicians are all liars
All refugees are criminals
My prayer is that God would help us to find freedom from stereotypes, that when we meet people that we wouldn’t judge them by their appearance or the way they speak.
I believe that every human being is made in God’s likeness and that gives them immense worth and value. In contrast, stereotypes devalue people by trying to get us to ignore their individuality.
How can we treat people in a more loving and respectful way?
Religious people so often got angry with Jesus for spending time with ‘sinners’. I find it inspiring the way that Jesus treated people so humanely and also the way that he wasn’t fazed by criticism when he was doing the right thing.
Sometimes when we break a stereotype, and treat people with the respect that they deserve as we get to know who they are, it gets us into trouble. I hope that this won’t faze us either and that we can see that loving people and treating them well is something worth getting onto trouble for.