Thursday, January 29, 2015

Pettiness

Chuckle:  “How long have you been driving without a tail light,” the policeman asked the lady he had pulled over.  “Oh, no!” the woman screamed as she ran to the back of the car.  “Just calm down,” said the officer. “It’s not that serious.”  “But it’s my husband I’m worried about.  He’s in the trailer that was hitched to the car!” 
 
Quote: “life is too short to be small.” –Disraeli
 
PETTINESS 
 
     "A man's wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense."  (Proverbs 19:11 NIV).
 
Petty means “of little importance; small; minor; trivial.  Narrow minded or ungenerous, especially in trifling matters.  Of lesser importance or rank; subordinate.  Having or showing a narrow, mean character.”  On the practical side, pettiness is like making mountains out of mole hills.  We let small, unimportant and insignificant things upset us and turn us into monsters that others do not want to be around.
 
Life is too short to worry and fret about the small stuff.  The challenge for us is how to tell the small stuff from the really important stuff.  All too often the small and insignificant becomes the elephant in the room in our minds.  Do you have short fuse when it comes to your pet peeves?  We tend to want people to act right, follow the rules, and not do anything to hurt our feelings.  I have seen “Christians” get their feelings hurt over some insignificant petty issue and either leave the church pouting like a child who didn’t get his way, or carry a lasting grudge that disrupts the warm loving fellowship God wants for His people.
 
Our passage says we should not be offended or personally affronted by the actions and choices of others.  We are to be forgiving even when the offense is against us and even though it is difficult – even when we are hurt deeply by someone’s words or deeds.  It is God’s responsibility to deal with the sinful actions of others, not ours.  We are to love and forgive as God has loved and forgiven us.
 
I believe pettiness among Christians can be attributed to a lack of spiritual maturity.  We should strive to become mature followers of Christ.  In his New Testament writings, Paul describes his dealing with believers who were not maturing and pettiness was often the result, especially in new congregations.  Here’s what Paul said to the Corinthians.  “When I was a child I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man I put childish ways behind me” (1 Corinthians 13:11 NIV).  As we mature spiritually, we become more and more like Jesus and selfishness and pettiness are replaced by love, compassion, patience, and forgiveness.
 
“Every day, God grants us the precious gift of life.  Yet every day, we squander it with our
selfish, petty concerns, rather than helping someone as He helps us.” –Kirn Hans, Behind My Mask
 

Love, Jerry & Dotse

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