Rolling your eyes…

“Always there are the right people, there are the suitable people, there are the smart people, and then there are (lower your voice) those others. And the way you signal to other right, smart, and suitable people that you are one of them is to roll your eyes when the wrong people and places are mentioned.

We want others to think of us as capable and intelligent, and we often seek to establish this identity not through respectful, diligent argument but through ridicule and disdain. People are not merely mistaken but out of step, regressive, intellectual midgets. Nathanael could not believe that somebody from a place like Nazareth had the answers to the big questions of our time. “You’re telling me he’s got the answers—and he’s from Nazareth? Uh, I don’t think so.” He’s rolling his eyes. “He’s from there? Really?

If you have this view of Christianity, or know someone who has this view of Christianity, that is no surprise. Many people today view Christianity much like Nathanael viewed Nazareth. Christianity was from Nazareth then, and it is still from Nazareth today. People love to roll their eyes at their idea of Christianity and its claims about who Christ is and what he has done and can do for them. The knowing people, the suitable people, all say, “Christianity—been there, done that. I grew up with it, I realized early on it’s not for me, and I’ve made up my mind.” So Jesus is still from Nazareth. If that is your attitude toward Christianity, I have two suggestions for you, because I think you have two issues before you. The first is that this kind of dismissiveness is always deadly. It absolutely kills all creativity and problem solving, not to mention any hope of a relationship. Tara Parker-Pope, in her book on marriage called For Better, cites eye-rolling as one of the definitive warning signs that a relationship is in serious trouble. Marriage counselors look out for it because because it signals contempt for the other person. A successful marriage can handle disappointment, disagreement, pain, and frustration. But it can’t handle complete dismissal of the other; contempt literally kills the relationship. A more concrete example is one where you have misplaced your keys. Once you’ve looked for them in all the places where they “can” be and haven’t found them, you’ll have to start looking in places where they “can’t” be. And of course, that’s where you’ll find them. So there’s nothing more fatal to wisdom and good relationships than rejecting certain ideas—or certain people—out of hand.

Your second issue is more substantial. By despising Christianity, you sever the living taproot to what are probably many of your own core values…”

Keller, Timothy. Encounters with Jesus: Unexpected Answers to Life’s Biggest Questions (pp. 5-7). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.