A person can learn a lot by watching, but with enough time we figure out that the eyeball test can’t get past skin. I recall as a kid watching the offering plate getting passed along the rows of church going folks; some would push the plate on down the row like it was a hot potato. You begin to assume things if you’re only source of judgment is the eyeball test.
I don’t take my Bible to church anymore, not to the service anyway. When the preacher man says, “If you’ve brought your Bibles today, please turn to…” he then calls out a Book, chapter, and verse. I glance around ever so slightly to watch the good folks flip back and forth and rattle pages.
When the pastor calls out a more obscure book and verse it’s telling to watch. If he throws out an “Obadiah” or a “Nahum”, pretty much any of the last three-quarters of the Old Testament, less experienced Bible students get stumped.
Some fellow church goers give me the legalistic eyeball test as I sit and wait for the preacher to put the verses up on the big screen. We legalists know that glance of disdain in a judgmental eyeball test all too well…As a kid in Sunday school racing to places in God’s word as a competition followed me like a shadow all the way to adulthood and every church service where I’d race to beat everyone else in the service after the preacher man would call the Book, chapter, and verse.
There’s nothing quite as disgusting in being prideful of a legalistic talent… These days I leave my pride pinned under my worn Bible at home.
When I see folks look to the table of contents in their Bible I see humility. I see the true heart of our Father.
When I see the legalistic eyeball test I see a person that might memorize scripture, but doesn’t begin to grasp the heart of our Father.