A former co-worker had an odd habit of verbally characterizing practically everyone in terms of abnormal psychology. The accountant who simply requested a spending report was “anal-rententive”. A staff member who forgot a meeting had “dementia”. On entering a meeting that had lost heat on a cold January day, he asked, “Why is everyone so anti-social? How can I tell? Because you have crossed your arms over your chests.” My IT colleagues and I were shy. He labelled us “autistic”. However, a tech who gave a presentation he upgraded to “passive-aggressive”. A planning session? “Exercise in paranoia.” A change in plans? Yep, “schizophrenic”.
To be fair, our parents and teachers have conditioned us—oops—to judge, identify, and categorize. Our safety and progress depend upon adequate, timely discernment. Good leadership includes the ability, given incomplete information, to decide correctly and act at the right time.
Perhaps the telling difference between psych-guy and me was that he said what he thought, or as he diagnosed himself, "sometimes I have trouble with impulse control".
Psych-guy's extreme helped me recognize that (a) too often I judged when no judgment was required, (b) too often my judgment proved to be wrong, and (c) too often I was inclined to stick with a wrong first impression.
Subsequently, by avoiding hasty conclusions I have more time to see and hear. If judgment eventually is required, I usually by then have better facts, and less bias to confirm a previous impression.
For example, there’s the matter of you. Yes, you there, reading this blog.
Probably it is safe to assume that if you have read this far that you are smarter, more spiritual, and altogether nicer than most people. Do I think you are needy, hurting, and anxious for the future? Many people are. But you might be the opposite, overconfident and presumptuous. I don't know.
By not prematurely judging, I have saved time and embarrassment. The trick is to use that time to hear, see, and serve.
“Stop judging by appearances. Judge by what is really right.” — John 7
"You will be judged in the same way that you judge others.” — Matthew 7
"Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but being a short man he could not, because of the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, 'Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.' So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. All the people saw this and began to mutter, 'He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.' But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, 'Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.' Jesus said to him, 'Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.' — Luke 19
At The Surge we love doing things together... that includes writing a blog! Here are a few of our main contributing authors:
Our fearless leader, Dwaine is the lead pastor at The Surge. His experience in counter terrorism with the CIA prepared him for ministry and he likes dogs and babies even more than E does.
E (short for Eric Reiss) is the Wingman at The Surge and likes dogs, music, Mexican food, his wife Karen and his little girl Evangeline... not necessarily in that order.