Posts Tagged ‘judgment’

Knowing and Being Known [**]

October 6, 2009 Leave a comment

Have you ever been to a party or large gathering where you felt like you knew everyone? You showed up and looked around and realized that you recognized every face? You then made your way around the room getting involved in nearly every conversation? Have you ever experienced all this or something like this and then realized that you didn’t really know these people and they didn’t really know you? If you were, for example, to tell one of them what you did as a hobby and what you liked about it, would they be totally surprised? Would they be surprised to learn your greatest fear or deepest desire? Would they be surprised to know that you were a Christian who regularly read your Bible and went to church?

I attended a relatively small private Christian high school for four years. By the time I was a senior, I “knew” almost everyone in the school from freshmen to senior and they “knew” me. I could get into a conversation with just about anyone about just about anything: music, sports, teachers, homework, dating, etc. I did all of this without really letting anyone know me. Even my “best friends” in high school didn’t know me and I didn’t really know them. That would probably explain why, although we haven’t completely lost touch, we haven’t talked in several years.

I am going to tell you all a little secret about me that almost no one knows. Once this is posted, of course, it won’t be a secret anymore, but I think that making my point is worth sharing my secret. Read more…


Freedom of the Individual [*]

June 19, 2009 Leave a comment
This story takes place in a small town somewhere in middle America. The laws of the town had been written years ago and had been based on absolutes. i.e. “This is right and that is wrong.” Over the years, many of the laws and the reasoning behind them slowly faded from relevancy. Among these were laws regarding the prohibition of alcohol and prostitution within city limits. Although alcohol still couldn’t be sold within the city, drinking became a regular occurrence. Many of the gatherings where the drinking took place were held at the town hall. Even the mayor made an appearance from time to time. Prostitution was still frowned upon but a “massage parlor” thrived just outside the boundaries of the city. Occasionally, the town police would enforce the laws because they were, after all, the law, but the enforcement was seemingly random and often annoying. So one day the mayor called a town meeting to discuss the rewriting of these and other laws so that they could be consistently enforced. Read more…

“You Can’t Handle the Truth” [*]

February 10, 2006 Leave a comment

The title of this blog has been made cliché by the memorable scene from “A Few Good Men” in which Jack Nicholson’s character berates Tom Cruise’s character in an effort to avoid telling the truth that he knows will ultimately get him into trouble. The outcome of the scene is that the truth is told and Jack Nicholson’s character is hauled off to jail. If he knew he’d get into trouble, why did he confess to it? How did Cruise’s character persuade the truth to come out? The short answer is pride. Nicholson’s character was in fact proud of what he had done. It’s doubtful that he was proud that his actions had resulted in an accidental death, but he was proud for following an unwritten code. A code that he stuck to even when others had doubts about its validity. He believed in this code of conduct and instilled his knowledge about it to the men under him, the men that he ordered to perform a “code red”. Even as Nicholson’s character was being hauled out of the courtroom, he continued to stick to his convictions, knowing that what he did was right. We may all have differing opinions about what is appropriate behavior in the military. I have never been in combat. I have never watched a man die. Who am I to determine the best way to prepare soldiers for battle? War is something that I cannot begin to understand and I hope that I never have to.

Many of us face the same dilemma that Nicholson’s character faced, daily. We have beliefs that we firmly hold to but know that some people just won’t understand. For many of us, myself included, our instinct is to keep these beliefs and opinions to ourselves except for when we occasionally share them with those closest to us.

For years I have kept many things to myself because of fear. During my adolescence, I was afraid of being judged by my peers who may have thought that I was not cool. Sadly, as a young adult, I was afraid of sharing too much with my closest friend for fear of being ridiculed. Even sadder than that is that I am not even sure if that old friend is even aware of this since I was too afraid to tell him. After losing touch with that friend, I decided that I was no longer going to keep my opinions and beliefs to myself. If someone was going to like “me”, they were going to have to accept me for me and not some image that I wished to project, or worse, an image that they tried to force onto me. Read more…