Darren Lippe helps facilitate Journey 101 “Loving God” classes, guides a 3rd grade Sunday school class, is a member of a small group & a men’s group, and serves on the Curriculum team.
Our family spent the past week in the Washington D.C. area visiting historical sites like Mount Vernon, Monticello & Ford’s Theater. We also spent a morning touring the International Spy Museum, learning all about spies, their gadgets, & their place in history. Upon realizing that Washington D.C. has more spies than any other city in the world, the boys were busy “spotting” spies, dead drops, & shifty-eyed people. (Of course, with 2 young boys in KC Royals hats intently staring at you while riding the Metro from the Smithsonian to Foggy Bottom, it is hard to not look suspicious.)
As I considered today’s passage regarding judging others, I thought we might learn a bit from a “chat” with Mr. Isaac Speye a noted expert in espionage.
DL: What do you think about Jesus telling us quite plainly to not judge others?
I. Speye: Jesus’ command to us is well intentioned, but I’m afraid the toothpaste is already out of the tube. In my profession, it comes with the territory. However, I find it interesting that everyday folks are constantly apprising other people they encounter. Like those with the Company, they take in all sorts of clues from appearance, demeanor, or how one speaks & then make instant assessments. But there isn’t a dire need to be so quick to form an opinion of others in everyday life; yet it has become autopilot.
DL: How so?
IS: We deem someone who drives faster than us as a maniac, while someone driving slower than us is a dolt. We are always perfectly justified – it is the others that have issues.
Of course, with twitter, texting, facebook, emails, etc. the speed of evaluating others is increasing dramatically. A poorly worded text can be the source of all sorts of issues. Who knew that auto-correct can turn “stupendous” into “stupid” before you even realize what you sent?
Also, we feel emboldened to make judgments about issues we never before considered, like the environment or even one’s weight. Today, we can smugly label someone based on the amount of trash they have at the curb or what they are eating and feel it is quite defensible.
DL: How many of these assessments are accurate?
IS: There’s the rub. We never stop to consider if our judgments are correct or not. Like the old Head & Shoulders commercial, we never give someone a second chance to make a first impression. Perhaps that is why Jesus tells us to knock it off.
DL: Actually Jesus tells us why we shouldn’t be so quick to judge others in the next phrase, “lest ye be judged.” We wouldn’t want others to judge us based on a snippet of conversation or our latest discretionary purchase. And we definitely don’t want God to hastily judge us without considering our full story. As we wrap up, do you have a favorite story of the Bible?
IS: I got hooked on the Bible after reading about Joshua and his spies. But I also think Esther is a very cool tale of intrigue. Oh, and Moses entering the Promised Land recounted in Exodus is fascinating to me.
DL: Any advice/tips to help us limit our judgmental nature?
IS: It’s a hard habit to break. However, remember life isn’t a TV show. You aren’t living in the Wild, Wild West. Not every day is filled with a Mission Impossible. So, Get Smart & get to know those around us without building up walls of judgments – but rather bridges of acceptance & understanding. Then you’ll be In Like Flint.