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Archive for August, 2013

“Move in the back.” My ten year old’s voice was agitated.

“No it’s my turn in the front,” answered my niece with much determination.

“Then get out so I can get in the back.”

“No!”

Listening to the tension, heightened my aggravation already present from a day full of stress.  The muscles in my neck flexed, and my eyes narrowed.  “Why the pettiness?  Who cares who sits in the front?”   I said.

I turned to lock the front door as the words continued to come.  “Why did we fight over such stupid stuff?  Like who sat behind mom or who used the flowered fork for dinner.  Oh especially that fork.  No wonder my mom was annoyed with us.”

“Mommy, we don’t have a flowered fork,” chimed in my oldest and most observant eleven year old.

A big smile formed on my face. “I wasn’t talking about us, but your Aunt Stacey and me.  Growing up our family had one fork that had etched flowers on the handle.  I used it one night and your aunt had it the next.  But every night there was an argument on whose turn it was to have the fork, similar to the fight about who gets to sit in the front.”  Looking back, what a waste of time. What selfishness, arguing over an insignificant item that in the grand scheme of things didn’t really make a difference in our lives.  “I guess we thought it made us important or special.”  I decided.  My girls looked at me then continued on with their disagreement.  All I could do was shake my head.

As an adult I laugh, but ask the question that must be asked, “Have things really changed?” I get upset over the dishwasher loaded “wrong” or the Christmas tree not decorated “right”.  Do these things really matter? Will the dishwasher loaded neatly, influence godly character.  Will the Christmas tree decorated “right” bring others to know the Savior?

The problem is it doesn’t seem to stop with the dishwashers or decorations.  I have heard of churches bickering over the color of the rug or what version of the Bible to use or the type of music to use in the worship services.  Or others complaining about how another accomplishes his/her tasks in ministry.  Should our worship or fellowship really be based on these things?  How sad if it is.

Sometimes I think God cringes at the pettiness.  We are supposed to be family, and united on the basics: Who Christ is, what He did on the Cross, and the free gift of Salvation.  He cares more about His relationship with His children then what color the carpet is, or how special we think we are because we use a flowered fork.

The Father wants our hearts, and then desires us to extend love to others.  We are special because God made us and loves us.  When people see the disunity, then they see a lack of love.  We are called to oneness and to love others, no matter what.  We are to make compromises on the small stuff but stand firm in His word and to love the sinner.

I resolved not to make a big deal over the dishwasher, even the Christmas tree that had spots crowded with ornaments.  After all, the tree is about working together as a family and having fun, and as for the dishes, they are getting clean.

What about the girl’s fight?  Well, I made the suggestion that each time we go some where they take turns sitting in the front.  I haven’t heard the bickering about it since.

How about you?  Do you yourself being petty about the little things in life, or with certain people? Ask God to give you a spirit of peace and love.  If your irritation is concerning big issues or those that are clearly right or wrong, ask God to give you wisdom to work through them with love, patience and self control.

“Live in harmony with one another.  Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly.  Never be wise in your own sight.  Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible  so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.”

Romans 12:16-18 (ESV)

 

 

 

*Due to being on vacation, I would like to share this  article I wrote in 2010.

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