I enjoy people watching.
Human interaction fascinates me. People can broadcast so much to others with just a look or a certain gesture of body language.
It’s easier to see when you are a passive observer than when you’re a part of the setting. For example, when people know each other really well, they can communicate with just a look. A glance can communicate their desire to leave or their displeasure. So subtle is the exchange, most might miss it if they weren’t paying attention.
Something else you see when “people watching” are those who are looking for trouble. Their eyes reveal what’s happening in their hearts. A glance at another person, a sneer on the corner of their lip, or a smirk reveals they might be very dishonest if given the chance.
They’re “bad apples”.
Scripture teaches us humans are sinful. Without the Lord, we are capable of astounding evil. The restraint of societies might prevent some of it, but the human heart is still bent towards evil.
Proverbs 30:11-14 reflects these observations as well.
“There are those who curse their fathers and do not bless their mothers; those who are pure in their own eyes and yet are not cleansed of their filth; those whose eyes are ever so haughty, whose glances are so disdainful; those whose teeth are swords and whose jaws are set with knives to devour the poor from the earth and the needy from among mankind.Proverbs 30:11-14 New International Version
There are members of society that lack respect for their parents and it shows into their adult life. They struggle to listen to anyone because the primary authority figures in their life didn’t teach them to.
Others who look on themselves as so virtuous, but are actually dirtier than those they judge.
Pride fills the eyes of others and they look down on others.
There are those who possess the power and authority to help others but use their positions to hurt the most vulnerable.
Is this new information? Does this surprise you? Did you know such people exist?
And what are we to do with this information? After all, the Bible was given in order for us to do stuff and not just know stuff. What are we to do with this?
Jesus instructed in Matthew 10:16 “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.”
In a broad sense, Jesus is reminding us the world is not a friend of our faith. In a specific sense, we are to be wise, clever, and sharp. We are to remain pure before the Lord in the process.
Knowing there are those who would mean us harm in this world, we should not be surprised. We should also be prepared. Since we know they’re out there, we are to be clever, sharp, aware, and careful.
It doesn’t become an excuse for sin, but “Christian” doesn’t mean “sucker” or “target.”
It means we have access to wisdom, strength, and grace.
We won’t always be able to sit on the side and merely watch those who mean us trouble. We will face them. As we interact with those who are lost and in need of the grace of Jesus, we do so exercising the shrewdness of snakes and the innocence of doves.