It will not surprise those of you who know me that I am not a fan of the plethora of ‘talent shows’ that seem to be filling prime time television at the moment. I do wonder where we are heading as we have shows for singing, dancing, ice skating, diving, gymnastics, and even baking. I have lots of silly and facetious ideas that I had better not share here in case they are already in production!
I have a lot of problems with these shows. But perhaps the biggest is the judges. These people criticise and evaluate the performances of those who are performing and give them marks (or kick them out). I think there are several different categories of judge and we are given a combination of them in a panel:
The pantomime villain. This is the person who always highlights the negative aspects of a performance. They rarely have anything good to say and the audience often boos them (or cheer when they are criticised or have eggs thrown at them).
The comedian. This person makes comments for laughs. They may overact or overreact to a performance and try to project a larger than life persona to gain popularity.
The professional. They have been there and done that when it comes to the type of ‘talent’ that is on display. We are supposed to respect their opinions and they are often portrayed as the voice of reason.
The other one. This person will be there to complete the set. They may bring a counterbalance for someone else on the panel, their presence may ensure that the panel is representative of a cross section of society, or they may be there because nobody else was available.
I dislike the idea that these people are put in the position of judging other people. I dislike the idea that by virtue of being on the panel of judges some of them have the opportunity to be cruel or brutal and this is seen as entertainment. I dislike the idea that I am being invited to judge people too (including the judges, as I have just done above).
Jesus suggested that we should be very careful if we place ourselves (or others place us) in the position of judging. He said that we should be prepared to be judged by the same standards that we judge others, and that we should demand a higher standard of ethical behaviour from those who judge others. He suggested that before we exalt ourselves to point out the problem in someone else’s life we ought to sort out the problems in our own (optical plank removal anyone?).
Of course he was not talking about talent shows. He was not talking about light entertainment. He was talking about everyday life. He was talking about you and I.
Be blessed, be a blessing.