There used to be a time when I’d be teaching, look down from the platform into the audience and see rows and rows of open Bibles strewn across people’s laps. Audience members would bring their personal copies of the Scriptures and follow along as I read.
Things have changed and technology has advanced.
Now, most often when I peer into an audience, it is filled with just as many iphones and Blackberries in the hands of those in front of me – as Bibles.
The first time I saw someone staring intently into their phone on the front row, I was appalled. Here I was teaching with all my strength, and they had the nerve to be doing Lord know’s what; probably sending text messages and surfing through their iphotos. I couldn’t believe the sheer gall; I mean, being on the front row and everything.
I was shocked when that same brazen and bold person (who I’d decided must not be very spiritual) walked up to me and showed me their Bible – on their phone.
I was ashamed for passing judgment – and relieved all at the same time.
You ever looked at someone and made an assumption that simply wasn’t true? We do it all the time don’t we? I know I do. I tend to take a glance at one detail in someone’s life, or one simple action, and pad it with assumptions that aren’t necessarily true. My mind runs wild and before I know it, I’ve dangerously allowed those few actions to color my entire perception of their personality and character as an individual.
I find that I am relieved when people don’t do the same with me. I know for a fact that there have been times I’ve said or done something that shocked me (ever had one of those moments when you wonder who you are.) I hoped that people wouldn’t allow that to form their view of me. It’s hard to pass that same courtesy along to others.
I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve been wrong about people, simply because I mistook one of their actions or added my own misdirected ideas to it.
Why do we do this and how can we stop it?