Stereotype: something conforming to a fixed or general pattern.
Have you ever put certain people into a stereotype group? An absent-minded professor. A nosey, gossipy, or talkative woman. Perhaps a motorcycle gang member as being outside the law. A young person as being worthless or lazy.
It’s easy for us to shove people into a group based on an experience we’ve had. I once knew a woman who had been assaulted by a man of a certain size and body type. She was terrified of all men who had that build, even though she knew they weren’t the ones who assaulted her.
Overcoming that prejudice is hard, especially when we have a deep-seated fear or hurt that was done to us. Yet there is a way to do this.
Through prayer. Through watching that person and seeing their heart played out in their actions. Through asking God to help you see the truth. You can tell the quality of a person if you are careful and prayerful.
“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” I Sam. 16:7 (NKJV)
God gives us a great example of how to “see” the person. We aren’t to look at their physical appearance but at their heart. When we do, we can see that person for who they are, not for the stereotype we believe them to be.
I have a new book releasing tomorrow. In Cornerstone, the heroine has a prejudice against men because of past experiences. She must learn to see them as individuals, but for that she needs God’s help. It is a learning, growing process, something we all face.
If you’ve ever struggled with this issue, maybe you would enjoy this story. Here is a short description.
She’s been hurt one time too many — can his patience and love heal her empty places.
Cinda Bryant is done with men. They are not to be trusted, and only true to you until another pretty face catches their eye. Didn’t that happen to her mother? To her sister? To her, when the man she’d been engaged to for years did the unthinkable? So, why, does her heart skip a few beats when her shop is broken into, and the very attractive Officer Ortega is there to help?
Daniel Ortega has been waiting for the right woman to come along, and Cinda is that woman. After a painful past, he’s prayed and searched for the woman God has for him, steering clear of any others. But is Cinda too wounded to see how much he cares for her? Will the woman who is determined to come between them destroy their budding relationship?
When Daniel asks Cinda to teach a quilting class for the group of troubled teens he’s helping, he doesn’t expect her to work a miracle in their lives as well as confirming his convictions that she is his one and only. When an enemy from her past comes back to town, and Daniel’s mistake from years ago comes to light, will placing their trust in the Cornerstone of their faith be enough see them through?
Such a good point. I think we do tend to stereotype and prejudge people. And many times we are not consciously aware that we are doing it. Congrats on your new book. It sounds wonderful. I can’t wait to dig in! 🙂