You just never know someone

Jim Rome radio interviewed Charles Barkley this week and the most interesting part of the segment centered around this question: “Were you surprised to hear that your friend Tiger Woods was thinking about becoming a Navy Seal?” Tiger’s old coach explained that this was actually the case, that he considered leaving golf for the seals.  Barkley’s pithy retort landed pretty close to real wisdom: “You just never know someone Jim.” 
Barkley had been friends with Woods for about 15 years or so and had no clue. You just never no someone Jim. I mean, did you think OJ Simpson would go out and kill people?
I think OJ probably gave those near him a few clues…but that’s coming from someone who really didn’t know him.
Jim Rome responded in complete agreement, particularly when it comes to athletes. We have no idea who they really are. 
Again Barkley commented, “You just can’t get to the know someone from sound bytes and interviews.”
I wonder how true the “you just don’t know someone” principle is in our churches today. Could someone consider leaving his/her profession and become a Navy Seal, yet none of his/her friends know that it was a serious option? 
Yep.  Much of church interaction is a bit more than “sound bytes” or “interviews,” but not that much more.
Gathering together for small group ministry of some kind in homes provides a great place to “consider” such options. In order to know and be known, you have to put yourself in places where it is natural and conducive to know and be known. However, you also have to take the step of faith and bring others into your “considerations.”
While it’s true we can’t know athletes, I do have hope that small groups can help us negate the statement: you just never know someone.

But that will only be the case if we choose to offer our brothers and sisters in the faith more than just sound bytes or interviews. We need to offer our homes and respond to the offer of homes. However, when inside the homes, we need to offer ourselves. If Jesus knows me and my warts and still loves me, I can be hopeful that His people will know me and love me. But even if they don’t-and they never will know or love me 100% satisfactorily-we can still be free to know and be known.

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