You don’t know who i am!

November 17, 2006

We go through our lives walking past people in the street, working alongside people and often we know little about them yet draw conclusions about who they are. 

Someone we see on a regular basis can have a big dilemma happening in their life but often no-one around them knows.  Equally it works the other way round that we ourselves can have something going on that we keep to ourselves.

The person on the desk next to you, or a mother you chat to at the school gate… both can have difficulties going on in their lives about which you have no clue.  Why does this matter to me so much? 

Sometimes there can be someone in our life who appears particularly grumpy, or who fails to turn up when you arrange to meet, or who is rubbish at time keeping, or snaps at the smallest thing… my issue is that we don’t know WHY they are behaving the way they are.

The way i see it is that we need to love everyone as a child of God, and realise that their spouse may be at home dying of an illness, their child may be self harming, their family maybe be feuding, their finances may be in strain, they may be struggling with their identity and self worth.  We don’t always know, so my suggestion today is that we try to give those we meet the love God so patiently bestows on us!

God gives us the benefit of the doubt so let’s give to others what God has given to us.

Most people can say ‘You don’t know who i am or you don’t know what’s going on in my life’.  Reach out in love because in doing so you may prevent someone stepping into despair.


26 Responses to “You don’t know who i am!”

  1. Raymond said

    Amen to that challenge.

  2. timglass said

    Jn. 15:12,”This is my commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you.”
    His blessings this day.

    How are you, Maria?

  3. Maria Toth said

    Am well. Thanks for asking.

    Had an interesting morning – met Beth Nielson Chapman (singer of songs in Disney’s ‘The Prince of Egypt’, Dawson’s Creek Theme tune etc) and Christian. Lovely lady who’s been through alot, including overcoming breast cancer.

    Looking forward to the weekend!
    Every blessing
    Maria in the UK

  4. I think EVERYONE has a struggle in their lives of one kind or another, it’s just a matter of how severe and serious it is. And you’re right, everyone needs to be treated as YOU would want to be treated, or more importantly, how you would treat HIM if He was acting as the person you are interacting with.

  5. timglass said

    She does have a great and inspiring story, doesn’t she!? She grew up, not to far from Montgomery (where we are) in Mobile, Alabama. About a 3 hour drive south from Montgomery.
    She also had a concert here this past spring. Though I wasn’t able to go, I heard it was great!
    Have a great one!

  6. Maria Toth said

    Ah, cool! She sung one of her new songs to me which will be on an album coming out in March. My geograpghical knowledge of America is rubbish though so i can’t picture Alabama!

    In Jesus,

  7. Sis. Julie said

    Thanks for stopping by my site and leaving a comment. How did you find me? I’ve never seen a blog site like your’s before. I appreciate your post. There are people in our lives each and ever day that we see that are going through hardship that we don’t even know about. Some let it be seen on their faces and yet others try their best to hide it. God puts them before us so we might be of help and a blessing to them. How sad it is when we fail to do as God would like us to.

  8. Thank you for this. Thank you for writing it, and letting others read it.

    I know how much I needed it today.


  9. Maria,

    What you wrote is very good. No one knows how the other is suffering. Unless it is spoken of and even then there are some things that are not spoken.

    Love of neighbor is what Jesus and God are all about, but many do not live it or even understand it.

    God love you

  10. Phil said

    Excellent thoughts, Maria!

    My sister gave me a quote once that goes right along with today’s post.

    “Be nice. Everyone’s going through SOMEthing; you just don’t happen to know what it is.”

    I’m looking forward to reading your thoughts in days ahead.


  11. Maria,

    Thoughtful post…

    God’s Love spoken of in John 15:12, “that you love one another, as I have loved you.” How is that ever possible? Christ shed His blood for the sin of all mankind — we can never do that for anyone.

    However, His provision is that we believers can show God’s love to those we meet. We must tell them about Jesus Christ, that He died for them personally. If they have already trusted Christ as Savior, they will be thrilled to meet another true believer.

    If they have never received Christ as Savior, you are offering them a chance to make a decision to trust Jesus and pass from death to life eternal in Him.

    The very essence of God’s love is: 1 John 4:10
    “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation [atoning sacrifice] for our sins.”

    Until those we meet are relying solely on Jesus Christ alone as their Savior, Scripture says they are condemned to an eternity separated from God.
    John 3:18
    “He that believeth on Him [Jesus] is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name [Jesus] of the only begotten Son of God.”

    Share Jesus Christ with those whom we meet!!


  12. myderbe said

    Love the post and comments!

    The administrator at the Christian school our daughters attended last year told me that he asked God to show him the children as God sees them. He said he was not prepared for the answer to his prayers. He said began to look at the children and see holes and wounds — divorced parents, a sick grandmother, difficulty with reading, a deceased father, angry parents, not enough attention, and on and on and on. This didn’t automatically excuse all wrong behavior, but the administrator had so much compassion on the children and handled situations with justice and mercy, and he LOVES the kids in that school.

    Perhaps we could ask God to help us see people as He sees them. Maybe then we wouldn’t be angry at the supermarket clerk who is rude to us, but our heart would be broken for her because of the holes in her life. And the love of Christ flowing from us would be a salve to her wounds.

  13. I agree that if we could only learn to see people as Jesus does(and this can only come through prayer and being sensitive to God, then we would reach out to them more. This is something I want to work on in my life.

  14. Maria,

    Whenever passing by a friend I have learned that it’s sometimes a good idea to ask “How are you?”….twice. The first one often interpreted as nothing more than “Hello”! The second….a sincere desire to know how they are!


  15. Brian Alexander said

    seriously? you all don’t have it in the uk? so what do you do this time of year? eat cake? lol joking arond!


  16. autumnrose said

    I am visiting each blog I link to tonight and sharing a hug ~ have one from me Maria xx

  17. Maria, these words are simple but to the point and they express a true sense of empathy. I’ve reflected on this often and as I read I thought to myself, we need to give people the benefit of the doubt. Just after I thought that, I saw it in the text. Are we on the same wavelenght or what!

    Blessings as the day draws to a close.

  18. helenl said

    Hi Maria, Thanks for a reminder that we do not know everything that is going on in someone’s life. And now, in the blogging world, it’s even more of a challenge. How can we possibly know why someone left an angry remark? Is he/she just mean or truly hurting?

  19. Chris D said

    Amen to that as well!

    You have such a wonderful gift-thank you for sharing, Maria!

    Love, Chrisd

  20. Amen! Amen! Amen! Having a lot of stuff going on in my life right now I am very aware of this. I can nearly always tell from the tone of the “how are you?” whether or not that person knows what’s going on with my father. And it’s been a reminder to me that nearly everyone is bearing burdens of one kind or another. When I find someone particularly difficult or trouble some I try to remember to say a prayer for that person, in spit of how I might be feeling toward them. The prayer, of course, changes how I feel. What a great post.

  21. Yes, Amen. Great post.

    I asked my Worship Leader/Pastor this same question on Tuesday. Do you know who I am? If I wasnt apart of the media team, would you love me? Do you know who I am outside of the media department? Outside of what I do from 9-5?

    For months, I was so internally frustrated because to so many others, I was just that girl who pressed buttons. And honestly, its less about public recognition, but more about relationship and appreciation as a person. Yeah, I could DO any of that stuff, but having felt like a “warm body in a spot” I quickly became resentful and wanted out.

    Praise God that in the midst of that, not only did I truly find myself in Christ, but I think its helped me to discern the same feelings in others.

    Thanks for the post, and for being the voice of those who deal with this issue silently.

  22. Aaron said

    I think it was Plato who said, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.” Ever since I read that quoatation, I’ve tried to live it. It’s hard to do, but I think it’s important–as you wrote in your blog.

  23. Father Joe said

    I knew an old man whose wife was always loudly nagging and yelling. One day, when I had some time with him, I asked how he could still endure it, as he had done so in a marriage of half a century?

    He looked at me and smiled. I noticed that he was praying the rosary with his beads hidden under the table.

    Then he reached for his ear and showed me his hearing aid. “I love her dearly,” he said, “so when she gets into these moods, I turn down my hearing aid and simply say my prayers.”

    I thought this was funny, but it was also interesting that this man took a handicap and made it a benefit. He carried his silent place with him everywhere he went.

  24. RobK said

    I love this post. I think it is so true, and what I try to keep reminding myself when I meet people who may not be the way I want them. I know I would like others to do that for me when I am not at my best.

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