Tag: tv

Crazy slow drivers. Crazy fast drivers.

I was driving down the interstate the other day, just cruising along minding my own business. Creeping to the top of a hill, two lanes merged into one as I passed the “merge ahead” sign. I turned my left signal on, checked my driver’s side mirror, and drifted before the right lane ended. Courteously, I might add.

merge1

image credit: Blog.GetVero.com

Then out of nowhere, a little sports car whipped around me, from the left lane into the right, then barely getting back into the left lane in front of me, before the lane he was in morphed to a gravel-y shoulder.

I gave him a polite, yet ‘I-know-what-you-did-and-I-want-you-to-know-that-I’m-angry-but-not-angry-enough-to-go-road-rage-on-you’ honk of my horn, and shook my head in disgust.

‘That guy was crazy,’ I mumbled through clenched jaws.

But I cooled off.

About .5 mile ahead, I approached a car driving a little slower than I. Quite a bit slower than I, in fact. The speed limit was 65 mph, and he (I tend to assign gender to cars when I get frustrated) was poking along at a measly 52 mph.

The nerve!

Didn’t he know the speed limit? Didn’t he know I was in a hurry? Does he not have any sort of a life, that he has so much time on his hands he can go 13 mph under the speed limit?

I fumed until he turned right, and I could resume my speed of choice.

The hypocrisy of it all

I am, of course, a prototypical hypocrite. I judge people on things I don’t want to be judged on. I hold others responsible for things I don’t hold myself responsible for. I curse you, then turn around and do exactly what I cursed you for.

I’m a big dummy.

Although it’s kind of silly, I think we do this same sort of thing in a lot of areas of life.

Driving

* If someone drives faster than we do, they’re a crazy driver.

* If someone drives slower than we do, they’re wasting our time.

Working out

* If someone works out (and we don’t), they’re a crazy workout-aholic.

* If someone doesn’t work out (and we do), they’re a lazy bum.

Dieting

* If someone eats healthy (and we don’t), then they’re a health nut fanatic.

* If someone eats whatever they want (and we eat healthy), then they probably don’t care about their body.

Finances

* If someone drives a nice vehicle (and we don’t), then they are probably unwise with their money.

* If someone drives a junker of a vehicle (and we drive something newer), then they probably don’t take care of their stuff. They’re not good stewards of God’s gifts.

Church attendance

* If someone goes to church regularly (and we don’t), then they’re a crazy religious zealot.

* If someone doesn’t go to church regularly (and we do), then they’re a dirty rotten sinner who doesn’t think about God or others.

TV

* If someone watches TV (and you don’t), they probably love to waste their life away.

* If someone doesn’t (and you do), they are just a prude.

Social media

* If someone posts consistently on social media (and you don’t), they have no idea how to manage their time.

* If someone doesn’t post (and you do), they don’t understand how people in this generation connect.

We are quick to judge others and slow to judge ourselves. We judge others in hard lines and cut-and-dry terms.

But when we judge ourselves, we judge with grace. We give allowance for busy schedules. For having kids around the house. For having an extra stressful season at work.

We give ourselves a little slack when it comes to the way we handle our money (things are tight right now). The patience, or lack thereof, we have with our kids (they were being overly difficult). Our eating habits (I traveled a lot this month). Our driving habits (we were in a hurry to go to…church).

We’re modern-day Pharisees, casting stones at others and dodging the ones thrown at us. We feel justified in our path as we spit and jeer at others.

Next time you’re tempted to judge, lead with grace. That’s what you do with yourself, isn’t it?

It’s like what Paul hinted at in 1 Corinthians 13.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. – Paul, 1 Corinthians 13:7

Love believes the best, hopes the best, and is able to endure because it chooses love first. It chooses to believe right motives until it hears otherwise. It chooses to position itself like it wants to be positioned, in the seat of grace.

Isn’t that how you want to be judged?

And the crazy part is that God knows us. Fully. Yet still gives us grace. And then more grace. (Re: James 4:6)

Let’s lead like that in our relationships.

See ya on the road. You crazy driver.

 

The day I got into a fight with my wife’s grandmother

There are some blog post titles that people use just to draw you in.

“Sexy” titles, if you will.

Titles that build hype, often overselling and under delivering.

This happens to not be one of those titles.

image credit: Creative Commons user Robert Daniel Ullman

It was unintentional, really. I didn’t set out that warm Saturday afternoon telling myself, “I bet Laura’s grandma and I could scrap today. She’d probably love that.”

It just sort of happened.

Round 1

We were standing beside the door, she preparing to leave. In retrospect, I should’ve just given her a hug and opened the door. We launched into a conversation about a TV show that my wife and I watch. One that she, consequently, doesn’t. Her reasons for abstaining are moral convictions, which I can completely understand and respect. With respect to the show, she doesn’t appreciate how the children interact with their parents, how the wife interacts with her husband, and some of the lifestyle decisions that characters on the show have made. She laid out her whole case in about 5 minutes.

Round 2

When she finished, I felt like she has issued an invitation to me to lay out my thoughts. As I creeped closer, though, I realized she was siren-ing me to the edge of a cliff. Like a moth drawn to that strangely-buzzing blue light, I walked right into the trap. There was no winning this one. No way I could emerge a hero of informed reason and logic. Not a chance. I was peering off the edge of a cliff.

Round 3

As words came out of my mouth, I tried to catch them. The whole time I’m talking, I’m thinking, “What are you doing?!? Back away…back away!” I got that look from my wife. I don’t even have to describe it. Husbands, you know what I’m talking about.

But it was too late. Back out now, and I look like a heel. Keep going, and I look like a heel. Close my eyes and run…that was probably the best option, but Reeds aren’t cowards. We’re a bit foolhardy sometimes, but we’re not cowards.

The point I was trying to make was this:

I don’t get my theology from a TV show.

I can watch a TV show (note: the show in question is family-friendly), and completely separate it from informing my theological framework. In fact, when I watch a show, I view it through the theological lens I’ve constructed through hard work, sweat, and tears. I strive for a theology informed deeply by the Scriptures.

I can watch a show and say, “What they’re doing there…that’s not good. That’s not how I’m going to parent.” Not in a judgmental kind of way. But in a way where I’m exercising wisdom and discernment.

I’m not watching TV as my devotional time. Nor am I watching it in hopes that they’ll somehow slip in a good word about the local church. That’s not TV’s job. That’s my job!

In fact, the moment I allow TV to twist my theology is the moment I’ve headed down a slope more slippery than the one I was peering down with my grandma-in-law.

The eye of the tiger

She stood on the other side of this argument, urging extreme caution with what we fill our minds. She warned that subtle lies slip in back doors, and make their way into our lives. TKO. She just ‘eye-of-the-tigered’ me.

I don’t wholeheartedly disagree with her. I just happen to see the other side of the coin, enjoying 30 minutes of laughter, catching a slice of culture, and not succumbing to the subtle lies. I believe that this is a generational issue more than anything else. My generation can watch a show, laugh, enjoy the story, and separate that from how we live our lives. I believe that the generation that precedes me more closely intertwines real life with media content.

I’m not sure that one of us is right and the other wrong. In fact, in that moment, I waved my white flag of surrender. And made a future note to myself:

Don’t pick a fight with a grandma. Even if you win, you’ll lose.

Question:

Where do you stand? Is it acceptable to watch a show with questionable (though not offensive, cause-you-to-stumble) content? Or should we shield our eyes from anything that could depict something less than what we want for our lives and our families?

 * image credit: Creative Commons user Robert Daniel Ullman

 

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