The thing about stereotypes is that there is generally some truth to them.
For example, the nerdy asain stereotype is ‘generally true’ because there is an emphasis in asian culture for the children to focus on academic achievement. There’s redneck stereotypes, trailer trash stereotypes, ghetto stereotypes, and the like. Scott, in his post a while back on are you a religious zealot, posted about stereotyping.
I have a loaded gun pointed at your head. If you get any of these questions wrong, you die. If you get them all right, you and each of your family members receives one billion dollars. I will not give you any more information than what is provided in the question.
- A car is approaching. It is a 1986 Chevy Caprice Classic with blacked out windows and $4000 spinner wheels on a car worth $500. It has loud booming sounds coming from inside. What color is the driver?
- 2 physicians, married to each other. One is a double board certified cardio thoracic and neurosurgeon and is on the faculty of the local medical school having published hundreds of journal articles. The other is a family medicine doc who works part time at a nearby clinic to earn extra play and vacation money for the family. Which one is the husband and which one is the wife?
- An order comes in to an online store that sells vintage vinyl records. The order is for a copy of the 1983 Duran Duran album “Seven and the Ragged Tiger” and the 1986 Poison album “Look what the cat dragged in.” What color is the person who placed this order?
- A triple-coordinated bomb attack explodes in a shopping mall, a gas station and an embassy in Nairobi. Who are the terrorists?
Remember the stakes–get it wrong, you die. Get it right, financial security for you and your family.
This generated some interesting discussion. You can read it on your own time. The point I want to make is that stereotypes shouldn’t bother you.
Truth is such an interesting thing. A stereotype hints at Truth because it is a generality, but for any individual case something is not necessarily True. This is why generalizations are generalizations: they are true many times but not always true. If something is not true then why should it bother you? On the other hand, if something is true then why should it bother you as well?
In reality, we choose what we get “offended” over. The things that we are offended over are the things that we are invested in or want to defend. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that we should be very picky and choosy over what we are invested in and/or defend as Christians.
This is one of the sticking points that men have to learn to go through as leaders. It’s not worth getting offended over much because it often leads to anger and thus arguments. Hence, learning to reduce what you get offended over naturally builds up self control and ability to operate effectively during conflict.
Stereotyping is simply one example of things that can offend very easily. Politics, religion, and other hot-bed topics are another. Should I really get offended over gay marriage when in reality it doesn’t exist? Nope. God is still Sovereign. People walking in darkness still sin. The key is not them but rather us. We are supposed to be the light that God uses to reach the darkness. We don’t have to worry about changing anyone. Christians often get distracted very easily on the mission and miss sight of these types of things and it gets in the way of spiritual growth.
We choose what we are offended by. Jesus was not offended by much, not even those that didn’t believe in Him. Jesus was not offended at sinners, but he was offended at people who pretended to be righteous.