Here are 5 littles things that you should never ignore about someone.
1. How They Treat Strangers
This little trait says a lot about someone because simple kindnesses have no real value to self when dealing with a stranger.
If you’re on a road trip and you stop in at a little diner, and the waitress politely waves and says, “Have a good one!” there is no advantage to responding to her in an equally kind manner. You are never going to see her again. You’ve already eaten and paid your bill so she can’t do anything to you now. The only reason you would treat this stranger with kindness is because it’s in your character to do so.
Therefore, if someone treats strangers poorly, it can tell you that this person only treats others well when it’s beneficial to themselves. But if someone is kind to strangers, this is a good sign that they are choosing to be kind because they actually care about people and have good character.
God ultimately wants us to treat strangers well because of our love for God. As Jesus explained in his parable found in Matthew 25:38-40, which states:
‘[Lord,] when did we see you a stranger and welcome you’ . . . And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’”
2. What Kind of Jokes They Find Funny
I believe humor is something God made himself. It’s good to laugh. It’s good to be able to joke around in a healthy way. Just look at how silly children are. Clearly God made them like that.
But like everything good, sin corrupts humor and can turn it into something dirty and shameful. The way that we joke around with people says a lot about us. Do we make ourselves the butt of the joke or do we make others the butt of the joke? Do we use humor as a clever way of cutting people down while acting like we are just trying to be funny and don’t have an evil intent? Do we laugh at worldly jokes that glorify evil and depravity?
The jokes someone tells and the things they choose to laugh at may seem like a little thing, but it actually says a lot about this person. As Ephesians 5:4 instructs, “Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.”
3. How They Talk About People Who Are Not Present
Do you have a coworker who will be saying all kinds of nasty things about someone on your lunchbreak, but then that person they are talking about comes and sits right next to you both and then suddenly your coworker completely changes their tune and is really kind to this person they were just gossiping about? Do you have a friend who pretends like they need to know all the gossip at church so they know how to pray for everyone properly? Or are you dating someone who comes home and completely trashes everyone they interacted with throughout the day?
None of us are perfect at controlling our tongues. But if someone is showing you a pattern of speaking really rudely or gossiping about people when they are not around, don’t overlook this because it actually says a lot about them.
As Proverbs 20:19 state, “Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets; therefore do not associate with a simple babbler.”
4. How Often and How Quickly They Switch Communities
Almost every Christian ends up switching churches at some point. For some of us, it will need to happen a few times in life. Perhaps a church changes and then we no longer align with them. Or perhaps we move and it’s no longer practical to attend that church because of the location. Sometimes we will need to change churches if we have a really bad falling out with some of the people there.
But this type of thing is different than the person who is constantly bouncing from community to community and is always unable to put down roots anywhere. I’m not just talking about churches. Sometimes there’s just not a good church around, so we shouldn’t judge people for not being involved at a church. Perhaps they are searching but it’s just not working out. But overall, can this person stay in a community for a healthy period of time or do they constantly need to be changing communities because they are burning bridges?
While it can seem like a small thing when someone just appears out of nowhere and doesn’t seem to have any community in their life, if this keeps happening to this person, that’s a red flag that you should not ignore. As Hebrews 10:24-25 instructs:
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”
5. Who They Follow on Social Media
We can’t always control who follows us on social media, but we can decide who we choose to follow.
It can seem like a small thing, but it’s a big red flag that should not be ignored when someone is consuming a lot of godless content. A wise Christian will do what they can to guard their eyes. As Jesus said in Matthew 6:22-23, which states:
The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!”