If I was London, I would have watched the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics and thought, “Oh great. We just have to follow an intricately choreographed performance by more people than live in our entire country? Fantastic. No pressure.”
But I’m not London, not even Jeremy, I’m Jon. So instead of worrying about the opening ceremony to the Summer Olympics, I get to focus on something else:
The second annual Stuff Christians Like Judgment Olympics.
Not only is it topical in this Olympic year, but I think it will give you something great to say back to someone who says something unfairly judgmental to you. Imagine yelling “Gold Medal!” when someone in your small group says something unkind to you. Dare to dream Jon, dare to dream.
Here are the events:
1. The “I used to”
= Gold Medal
You’ve just confessed something that is going on in your life, and the person across from you pauses and then says, “I used to do that a lot too before I really connected with God.” Ohhh, “I used” can be a powerful, powerful phrase. What this does is set up that the person you’re talking with has moved beyond what you are currently struggling with. When they were a sweaty Philistine, like you, they used to do what you are doing. But now that life is angelic, they just don’t do that anymore.
2. The “I’m with God.”
= Silver Medal
The best thing to do when you really want to judge someone is draw up sides. Make sure you take the side of God first, which automatically puts the other person on the side of Satan. Sound extreme and like something that doesn’t happen? It does. Here’s what it looks like: “I understand what you are saying. I guess I’m just going to go with God on this one.” Or, “I’m not telling you my opinion. I’m just telling you what the Bible and God say.” The implication is that you’re not just disagreeing with the other person, you’re disagreeing with the Alpha and Omega. Which does not feel awesome.
3. The “half and half”
= Silver Medal
This is probably my favorite one. In this form, you give a fake compliment, followed up by what you really feel. For example, if you don’t like a certain minister you might say, “He’s got a great ministry, unless you feel that learning about the Bible is important.” or “That’s a great song, if you don’t mind devil music.” This is the equivalent of waving your hand around to make someone look at it while your foot kicks them in the groin.
4. The “Judgment Squared” = Bronze medal
Few things are as ironic as when someone judges you for being judgmental. That’s like swimming in the ocean next to me and telling me that I’m wet. Hey, “wait a second, you’re wet too,” I want to say. If you ever say the phrase, “I don’t mean to judge, but …” then you might have just won yourself a medal.
5. The “for me.” = Gold Medal
This is similar to number 2, but does not have to involve throwing the God card directly. Let’s say I write a post about some kind of worship music that I think is overplayed in church. Someone reads that, and then says, “I guess, for me, worship is about communing with God and not my own narcissistic sense of enjoyment.” That sounds a little extreme, but I once got in an argument with someone that read my completely silly post about holding hands and then accused me of probably not liking to touch the homeless. We ended up working it out, but the initial implication was, “You don’t like interlinking fingers with strangers at church? For me, touch is about loving others, like Jesus. Why do you hate the homeless?”
6. Obscure Verse
= Silver Medal
Your friends don’t live their lives by the second chapter of the book of Joel. They should, but chances are, they don’t. But sometimes, when they want to prove a point, they just Google some crazily obscure verse and then casually quote it like they’ve always loved that passage about the locusts.
I think some of the things above, when done in love, can be helpful and honest. But when they’re not, I think you and I deserve a medal. At least I know I do, because I’ve unfortunately got a closet full of medals.
What form of judging would you add to the judgment Olympics?
(This is a Throwback Thursday post from a few years ago.)