IMDb.com… the Internet Movie Database. Have you seen this site? It’s a film-lover’s dreamland — a trove of facts, data and obscure details for virtually every movie and TV show in history.
I landed on this site the other day for reasons I’ve already forgotten, but found myself skimming through a category called “Goofs” (essentially a detailed list of mistakes made by film-makers while shooting a movie). These “goofs” might be simple oversights – like a misplaced object on the set. But others are much more nitpicking, like this bit from the 1997 blockbuster, Titanic: “When Jack is handcuffed to the steel pipes in the Master-at-Arms’ office, the pipe fittings are of welded steel construction. Electric arc welding was not used until the late 1920’s. Pipes would have been flanged and threaded.”
OK, really? Don’t these blunder-seekers have better things to do with their time? Talk about missing the bigger picture!
After scanning several more captious remarks, it occurred to me that there’s no alternate section on the website dedicated to everything the filmmakers painstakingly got right. Just think of the thousands of hours spent to create an amazingly accurate representation of the Titanic, for example. It would be far too lengthy a task to list out all the great things accomplished in that production.
I began to wonder how many of us maintain a mental list of goofs and criticisms in relation to our churches or fellow believers. Are we critical of the “faults” in our Sunday services… like song selections we personally don’t care for, the length of the sermons, a particular singer or speaker that rubs us the wrong way, or even the mannerisms of the person sitting next to us? If so, our focus is on the wrong thing! We’re missing the bigger picture – the reason we’re there, and all the good things that have been carefully and prayerfully prepared for us. The same could be said about our relationships with friends and fellow believers. Are we quick to note the shortcomings of others while overlooking their good qualities?
In Philippians 4:8 the Apostle Paul wrote, “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”
I would have loved to hear Paul’s daily encouragement and positive outlook towards the church and fellow believers, wouldn’t you? So let’s leave the goofs category to the entertainment industry, and fill our databases with the positive and encouraging details.
– Ron Reid