Her one sentence bio in the Bible is this: “But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt” (Genesis 19:26). This is all we know about her. There are no other instances of Lot’s wife mentioned in the Bible. All she got was one line.
One sentence. One brief moment to fly or to fail. One shot to be a hero or be a zero in the eyes of countless millions of people who would later read God’s Word.
If we look at the story in context, God was about to destroy the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Lot’s family was told, “Flee for your lives! Don’t look back, and don’t stop anywhere in the plain!…” (Genesis 19:17). The direction was clear not to look back, but Lot’s wife didn’t heed the warning. She looked back. What we are given is her one sentence bio.
Based on her one sentence bio, we promptly draw our own conclusions about her, don’t we? We might conclude she was a rebel and she got what she deserved. Perhaps we feel sorry for her and think she was treated unfairly. Either way, we form an opinion of her based on the one thing we heard about her.
When we go out for coffee with friends, when we gather in small social groups, when we congregate in the break room at the office, the conversation often times centers around other people. The one (or two) sentence bios about others are constantly leaked out like a drippy faucet. Sometimes it’s about people we know well. Sometimes it’s about people we are only mere acquaintances with. Quickly, however, the lines are drawn. You form an opinion. Based on the one sentence bio you hear about another person, you either like him or you don’t. You either approve of her, or disapprove. You either leave thinking positively or negatively about those other people.
It goes something like this (and I know you can relate):
- “Jennifer is probably the nicest person I know.”
- “Rick is extremely negative and critical. I don’t think he has one positive bone in his body.”
- “Ginger is a great starter, but she always leaves things undone.”
- “Juan is a walking comic strip. He totally cracks me up.”
Whether we like it or not, people talk. And they sum us up in a reflective nutshell. What they observe about us is what they share. They draw conclusions based on what they know about or experience with us. Their analysis of us might be spot on. Then again, it might be way off. Either way, you get summed up in a short, one sentence bio.
So, what are people saying about you? Based on your character, your beliefs, your actions, your reactions, your words, your deeds, your attitudes, your morals, your integrity, your lifestyle, and/or your treatment of others, what’s your one sentence bio? If all you get is one line in the office break room, what conclusion will people draw about you?
If you sense the message you are sending to others is less than positive—if you know your one sentence bio is tainted with some ugly, “salty” truth—then it’s not too late to make some changes. We only get one shot at this thing called life. We only get one opportunity make an impact on those we come in contact with.
“Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13, NLT).