We can be our own problem | Faith
by The Press and Standard | May 5, 2019 5:00 am
Last Updated: May 1, 2019 at 11:33 am
When we see and hear things happening all around us, sometimes we are so quick to judge and lay all the blame on others.
Because we do not live in a perfect society, we have to remember what the Word says in Romans 3:23-24 (KJV), “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” Therefore, when we see or hear something, it may not be all that it seems. It could merely be our perception of it as opposed to what is actually real.
When it comes to perception, according to Romans 12:2 (ESV), “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Further, in Ecclesiastes 2:14 (ESV), “The wise person has his eyes in his head, but the fool walks in darkness. And yet I perceived that the same event happens to all of them.” Therefore, the problem with what we perceive can be within us instead of others.
My late mother, the Rev. Dr. Evelyn Gelzer Stevens, once told me about a joke that her pastor shared one Sunday from the pulpit. The pastor said that one day a lady was being so nosey, looking out of the windows as her neighbor was hanging her laundry on the clothesline to dry. The nosey neighbor said, “Just look at those dirty clothes she’s hanging on that line!”
Shortly thereafter, the nosey neighbor went closer to her windows and realized that it wasn’t the clothes that were dirty; instead, it was her dirty windows. There again, things are not always as we perceive them to be.
As a result of our sometimes being so eager to believe what we hear, gossip will quickly spread. Therefore, when we hear things, we must analyze what we hear. Don’t give in to the “street committee.” Even when we read and watch the news, everything may not always be as it seems. I can say that because I know it to be firsthand. Acts 17:11 (ESV) says, “Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.”
As I bring this message to a close this week, read and think on this illustration, “Concerned Husband” (www.alltimeshortstories.com). It offers a vivid explanation of how we can be our own problem.
“Once there lived a happy couple who had been together for decades. But after spending years together, the husband was concerned that his wife was not hearing as well as she used to hear. He thought that she might need a hearing aid, but he wasn’t sure how to approach her.
“He called his family doctor to ask for a suggestion. The doctor told him to test it with a simple idea. The doctor said, ‘Stand 40 feet away from her and speak as loudly as you would speak to her in a normal conversation. Observe if she hears you. If not, reduce the distance into 30 feet, then 20 feet, and so on until you get a response. The distance will help us to estimate her requirements for the hearing aid.’
“The next day, the husband saw his wife cooking dinner in the kitchen. So he took the opportunity to check the doctor’s idea. He got 40 feet away from his wife and asked, ‘Dear, what is there for dinner?’ He waited for a response but did not get one.
“He moved a bit closer and asked ‘Dear, what is there for dinner?’ He still did not get a response from his wife.
“He then stood 20 feet away from his wife and asked the same question, hoping he would get a response this time. But the wife did not respond. He then stood just ten feet away from his wife and asked ‘Dear, what is there for dinner?’ He did not get a response. By now the husband was very concerned and felt pity about how bad was his wife’s hearing.
“Then he walked right behind her and said, “Honey, what is there for dinner?’
“The wife shouted, ‘John, this is the fifth time I’m saying, CHICKEN…!’”
“Moral: Most often, the problem may not be with others but could be very much within us.”
Have a wonderfully blessed week, and never leave home without Him!
(Anna Bright is a minister and educator in Walterboro. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)