We have a tendency as fallible human beings to view people through a filter of our own life experience. We see people through our strengths. It’s hard to be vulnerable in a world that looks to devour us. (1 Peter 5:8) Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. It may seem dramatic to call the world the devil, but there is no doubt that the traits that exemplify the earth (selfishness, pride, greed, lust, anger, hate, racism, etc.) are representations of sin and thus the deceiver. It is extremely difficult and vitally important that we show compassion and sympathy for individuals as we focus on the fact that our battle is with the spirit and not the flesh. (Ephesians 6:12) For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but… against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. God has created all people, some to serve as a guide we imitate, some as a guide to show us what not to do, some as an opportunity to ‘come along side’ and grow with. Every person we encounter is an opportunity to learn and grow in relationship with God in the process of sanctification. We cannot allow our life experience and our expectations (of others and for ourselves) interfere in the opportunity to mature, learn, and teach as God places people in our lives daily. How many people can you think of that you have rejected in judgement? Can you look at that person and see what they have taught you without anger in your heart? Can you develop wisdom (viewpoint of God) and love them for what they have taught you? True maturity comes through perseverance in the submission to Jesus. We must thank God that He brings tests to our lives, sometimes in the form of people, to mature us and draw us closer to Him and His purpose for us in His Kingdom.