The older I get, the more I try and be slow to form opinions. I especially try and be slow to form opinions about people. No matter what information you have, and no matter how you get that information, you do not really know the full story of that person's life causing them to act the way they do. I have even caught myself making character assessments about people based off of one or two short encounters with that person.
The truth of the matter is that there is no way one or two situational encounters should ever be allowed to type-cast any individual. However, we do it to people all the time. What if that person was simply having a bad day? What if that person was having a bad year, or was under a ton of stress in their marriage, and thus was negatively out of character for that season of life? I would never know that sort of information - which would make all the difference in how I viewed them. All I would know is that at while at work, this person seems to be difficult to deal with most of the time.
The greatest New Testament preacher ever was Peter. Nobody, not even Paul, could get the "results" Peter could get when preaching to large crowds. The funny thing is, if you ask most Christians to tell you (1) thing about Peter, you will most always get a response that brings up his denial of Christ.
Peter had one bad day.
A servant girl saw him (Peter) seated there in the firelight. She looked closely at him and said, "This man was with Him." But he denied it. - Luke 22
Yes, it was a really bad day, but how would you like it if people were still talking about your one bad day ... to this day?? Peter had one bad day, but after that one day, he had hundreds of great days living for the Lord Jesus.
My mind freezes with panic when I think about the fact that people have no doubt made assessments about my character based off of one conversation or a few short encounters with me.
The Man minute