Be moved. Be changed. Love because you are loved.

Tag: bitterness

Baseball coach instructing young player

Keeping Out of Majoring in the Minors

Baseball coach instructing young player

Criticism can be a painful pill to swallow. I’ve lost sleep over bad reviews. One person called into question the proper use of an English courtesy title used with one of my characters. There’s a good chance that I got it wrong, even though I’ve done extensive research to stay as historically accurate as possible. When to use which English title is confusing. However, the discrepancy caused the person to stop reading halfway through the story. Her inability to see past the minor errors caused her to miss the book’s message of forgiveness, fortitude, and faith, which saddens me more than the bad review.

I know I can’t please everyone. I’m human and make countless mistakes daily. (Some are funny. I tend to type shutter instead of shudder, which I know has something to do with my husband being in the home improvement industry. Or there was a time that I wrote neckless instead of necklace. The poor heroine had no neck—how terrible.) I will re-read a blog after it’s released and kick myself over errors that I know better than to make. There may even be some in this blog, but my hope is that my mistakes don’t overshadow the message.

I’ve seen this happen in churches. Pastors, too, are human. They aren’t infallible, but many of us have unrealistic expectations for them. We are quick to criticize if they do something with which we disagree. We move on to greener pastures only to discover that our new pastor is human also. The church in Pennsylvania, where I gave my life to Christ, divided over trivial things because they lost sight of the grander purpose. When we major in the minors, as my pastor calls it, we make the devil’s job easy. The devil comes to steal, kill, and destroy. Focusing on mistakes instead of the message steals purpose, kills trust, and destroys unity.

2 Corinthians 8:7 states, “But as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you—see that you excel in this act of grace also.”

Luke 6:36 says, “Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.”

Baseball player sitting on bench

God asks us to excel in grace and mercy. This means giving the benefit of the doubt, forgiving mistakes, and repenting of a critical spirit. I realize this isn’t easy, but it can start with turning off the film in our head that plays different retaliation scenarios and stopping our fingers from sending a snarky retort. Take a second and ask ourselves if this helps or hurts God’s greater purpose. Bitterness, judgment, and a critical spirit can blind us to the great works God is doing, block us from receiving a message we need to hear, and do damage to our witness.

Are you bogged down in the trivial? What’s keeping you from God’s greater message? Let’s not make the devil’s job easy. Ask God to show you what you need to move past and how to move beyond it so that you can get to the happily-ever-after.

I’ll be on my knees doing the same.

Don’t miss a post! Sign up for my weekly blog by clicking here: Lorri’s blog.

Angry Lion

How to Avoid the Bitter End

What is your biggest regret?

It’s one of those questions where your stomach drops out, and your brain thinks, things are about to get real. The question was raised in my small group, and I knew the answer immediately. I should have been a better friend to Jodi. We had been roommates, and she had been the maid-of-honor in my wedding. One girl’s night out, I’d been responsible for holding her car keys, and they’d somehow fallen out of my pocket. After a frustrating hour of searching, we found them in the ladies’ room, but in the process of looking, I overheard her call me stupid.

Admittedly, there are worse things to be called, but I was hurt. Instead of talking to her and trying to work things out, I acted badly and gave her the cold shoulder. My nonconfrontational way of dealing with the issue strained our relationship. We started to bicker and eventually parted ways never to speak again. Because I wasn’t willing to overlook something trivial, I ruined our friendship which I now realize was the greater of the two sins. Why didn’t I say something? Why did I let a minor issue destroy a great friendship?

Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends.– Proverbs 17:9

4 Oxen back to back

There’s an old Aesop’s Fable about Four Oxen and a Lion that goes something like this: A lion used to prowl about a field where four oxen lounged. He tried to attack them many times looking for a savory meal, but whenever he came near, they turned their tails to one another. Whichever way the lion approached them he was met by a pair of horns. The lion stalked off to wait. Eventually, the oxen began to argue. Each went off to pasture alone in a separate corner of the field. The Lion seized his opportunity, attacking them one by one and soon made an end of all four.

Okay, so this isn’t a happily-ever-after story, but there is a lot of meat to this tale. (Sorry I couldn’t resist the bad pun.) Bickering among friends can be deadly. It might not be a lion-gnaws-on-your-bones type of deadly, but it inevitably kills the friendship.

Friends protect each other’s backs. When we’re turned against each other, nitpicking and bickering, then our backs are exposed, making us easy prey for the devil. His main tactic is to divide and conquer so he can pick us off one by one. 1 Peter 5:8 says, “Your enemy, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

Don’t become divided. Set your hurts aside, and talk things out. Don’t let bickering and bitterness destroy relationships. Don’t be like me and live with the regret of losing a good friend. Be aware of the devil’s tactics and don’t let foolishness or pride keep us from forgiving one another or extending grace. We are stronger together.

Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. – Ecclesiastes 4:12.

Don’t miss a post! Sign up for my weekly blog by clicking here: Lorri’s Blog

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén