Bob Tamasy: Not Always As They Seem

Sunday, May 5, 2013 - by Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy

It’s become increasingly evident that often, people we think we know – we really don’t know at all.

Case in point: The two brothers of Chechen descent that allegedly orchestrated the Boston Marathon bombings and had plotted further mayhem. Some neighbors and fellow students described them with adjectives like “quiet,” “nice,” “friendly” and even “kind.” Huh? Hardly terms that fit makers of pressure-cooker bombs that killed and dismembered people near the finish of one of New England’s most celebrated events.

But such a disparity isn’t unusual. Mass murderers are frequently depicted as aloof, introverted, or maybe moody, but rarely does anyone say something like, “Now there was a potential serial killer if ever I saw one!”

People being not always as they seem isn’t restricted to perpetrators of heinous crimes. Recently a single day’s news included multiple reports of prominent entertainers and media celebrities being arrested for alcohol and drug-related violations. Including a popular, perky actress who never would have been envisioned as a mean drunk.

And it doesn’t stop there. What about the revered preacher, author of best-selling books and star of weekly TV and radio shows, caught in secretive, sexual indiscretions? Or the iconic business executive found guilty of ethical wrongdoing? Even the “perfect couple” living next door, whom everyone envied, that shockingly filed for divorce?

We think we know people, but do we…really? What’s the deal?

The Bible offers insight. In the Old Testament, God had sent the prophet Samuel to anoint one of Jesse’s sons to succeed Saul as Israel’s king. Samuel studied each son and wondered, “Is this the one?” Apparently they all passed the look test. But for each one the Lord responded, “Nope. Not him.”

Finally, Samuel discovered Jesse had one more son – David, a shepherd boy still tending the sheep. So Samuel had Jesse summon David. When the boy arrived, God informed the prophet, “That’s the one!”

Earlier Samuel had received the explanation: “The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).

That’s our problem. We can only look on the outside, drawing conclusions based on perceptions. God, however, examines the heart – the inner person. He knows their true thoughts, motives, desires and aspirations.

In Leaders Legacy, the non-profit I work with, we use a motivational assessment tool called the Birkman Method. A key descriptor of this resource is “Usual Style” or “Usual Behavior.” This relates to outward behavior – what we observe about other people, the basis for conclusions and judgments we form about them.

However, “Usual Style” is actually learned behavior, what individuals find enables them to be most effective in life. This often contrasts sharply from “Needs” – underlying requirements or expectations that must be fulfilled to bring contentment and peace.

Realizing what you see in people isn’t always what you get, I’ve given up trying to be a good judge of people. Their external behavior can be very deceiving. God alone is capable of judging properly and accurately, because He can see what’s going on inside. As Proverbs 21:2 says, “All a man’s ways seem right to him, but the Lord weighs the heart.

---

Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, a former newspaper editor and magazine editor. He is presently vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit focused on mentoring and coaching business and professional leaders. Bob has written hundreds of magazine articles, and has authored, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” “Business at Its Best,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” He edits a weekly business meditation, “Monday Manna,” which is translated into more than 20 languages and distributed via email around the world by CBMC International. He also posts regularly on two blogs, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com, and www.bobtamasy.wordpress.com.)


New Covenant Fellowship Church To Celebrate 20th Anniversary

The New Covenant Fellowship Church and its founding pastor, Dr. Bernie Miller will celebrate its 20th anniversary on Friday, July 8, with a concert featuring Grammy and Stellar award winning gospel artist, Kurt Carr and the Kurt Carr singers. The public is invited to attend. Tickets are $20. A church picnic is also planned for Saturday, July 9, from 12-3 p.m. on the Cumberland ... (click for more)

Grace Church Of The Nazarene Hosts God And Country Celebration

The public is invited to a God and Country Celebration on  Sunday, July 3, at 10:30 a.m.  at Grace Church of the Nazarene, 6310 Dayton Blvd., Hixson, Tn. 37343.   (click for more)

County Commission Gives Up Fight On $900,000 In Discretionary Funds

County Commission members have given up the fight for the annual $900,000 in discretionary funds. Commission Chairman Chester Bankston said there was not enough money available after requests from a number of agencies and departments were cut to balance the budget without a tax increase. Commissioner Sabrena Smedley said the fact that commissioners can no longer allot the ... (click for more)

Bridge Repair Over 12th Street To Cause Temporary Lane Closure On US 27

While investigating a pothole in the bridge on U.S. 27 North over 12 th Street in the construction zone, crews discovered a potential weak spot in the bridge deck that could over time result in more damage to the bridge deck.  For the safety of the traveling public, the outside lane in this area will be closed until the contractor makes necessary repairs, TDOT officials ... (click for more)

A Disturbing Trend At Exit 11 - And Response (2)

So, am I the first to notice a trend?   How many wrecks does exit 11 need before anyone asks "whats up with that?"  I have lost count of the wrecks that continue to happen, even after last year's awful loss of life (which I believe 51 percent of the blame should fall on the THP officer on duty).  The problem with this section of interstate are sight lines ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Story You Won’t See

In a puzzling time when the big daily newspapers have veered strongly away from “all the news that is fit to print,” allow me to share a story that you very likely will not see on CNN, ABC News, or in the big media conglomerates that influence the way you think, the way you react and – as a result – easily warp our common senses. This story is very true. Late last Sunday afternoon, ... (click for more)