My wife pointed out to me a powerful post on the website of People of the Second Chance entitled I am the Vulture. And I am sometimes.
A few days ago, I wrote an article about preaching for SermonCentral and in the comments section, someone used the article as an opportunity to make some assumptions about me, and even about one of my mentors, without actually knowing either of us.
The world recently learned that the Duggar family is now expecting child number twenty. Awesome! Congratulations to this very loving family! But I’m a bit aghast at the number of people using public forums like Facebook to oppose this further family expansion as somehow irresponsible or immoral (as if its anyone else’s business to begin with).
And earlier, a headline grabbed my attention about an anti-gay Pastor arrested in New Orleans for… an indecent act near a children’s playground (don’t click if you’re sensitive about such things). It isn’t simply that another church leader fell morally. It’s that he had devoted many hours to publicly picketing on the streets and shouting at homosexual residents and tourists.
Three different stories with very different contexts all point out the same characteristic about our human nature. We’re ready to pounce. I’ve pounced before, only to feel regret that I had issued premature judgement toward someone. We’ve all gone into conversations with our guns drawn, ready to find a target to shoot down. We’re ready to pounce.
Now, listen to this verse…
Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.
~ 1 Peter 5:8 NLT
Here’s the big question we all need to face… if we are ready to pounce on people, are we more like Jesus?… or someone else? Seems like I remember being told a few times what assuming can do.
My real challenge is twofold.
- Be on guard against the right enemy.
- Drop your guard toward the innocent.
Chances are, if I’m making conclusions about someone without really knowing them or their situation, I’m already wrong even if I’m “right.”
Photo by Steve Jurvetson.