Trek 2008 - Pet Peeves
Trek 2008 Ė Pet Peeves
By Cheryle M. Touchton
The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady
How can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,' when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye. Luke 6:42 NIV
Do you have pet peeves? I know you do because Iíve heard you express them as I travel. It is an election year and Iíve had so many political opinions offered that my head hurts. Once people hear I am a Christian missionary, they offer opinions about church in general, famous or successful churches, religions and or denominations, Christian writers, and church leaders. It is interesting that most of these opinions are negative. The dictionary says a pet peeve is a particular and often continual annoyance and I recognize them when people pontificate on a subject without leaving any room for contrary opinions.
I have three main pet peeves. Iíll admit they are pet peeves but when I witness them, it hurts my heart and I feel the need to put a stop to it. These pet peeves all revolve around disrespect. In thinking about the brother of the prodigal son, I realized that when people show the kind of disrespect I am talking about, it reminds me of the haughty know-it-all attitude of the big brother of the prodigal son. He was lost in a sea of resentment and self-righteousness that destroyed the pleasure of his brotherís homecoming.
Iíll tell you my three pet peeves in order of their importance to me. The first is minor compared to the other two. I enjoy football teams and cheer enthusiastically for my team. I cannot abide it when fans boo the opposing team or a player having an off day. In short Ė I find booing at ball games disrespectful and Iíve been known to take on a fan or two about it. These angry self-righteous fans do not seem to be having much fun themselves and are ruining the pleasure for the surrounding fans.
My second pet peeve is about disrespecting the President of the United States. I do not like people disrespecting my President in my presence and I usually tell them so. Regardless of my own personal politics, I believe in being respectful of the office and the man. If Iím concerned about a decision or action of the President, I pray about it and may not vote for them again but I am loyal to my Commander in Chief by speaking positively or remaining silent. I fight for the candidate of my choice prior to election, give the elected president my full support Ė regardless of the political party, and am not shy about encouraging others to do the same. Like our super star Ė the smug big brother of the prodigal Ė these self-righteous complaining United States citizens are assuming their ideas and opinions are better and more educated than men and women who have dedicated their life to the understanding and running of our country.
The third pet peeve is about disrespecting Christian churches and church leaders. I have fallen in love with Christís bride, regardless of the size, religion, denomination, race, or culture. The battles that go on between sincere Bible believing Christian churches break my heart and I cannot remain silent about it. Iíve heard negative words like happy clappy, hell fire and damnation, and obsessed with evangelism to describe men of God who are doing their best to deliver Biblical messages God has called them to focus on. People toss about stereotypical words like prosperity ministry, charismatic, evangelical, liturgical, and holy rolly in pompous attempts to categorize Christian churches and make it clear which one is right and how misguided the others are. All of the criticisms are supposedly Bible based, which confuses me since we all read the same Bible and that Bible tells us not to gossip and complain. I want to shout from the mountaintops that if we focus on loving God and others, there would be no room for disrespecting the bride of Christ and servants of God.
But alas, everything Iíve ranted about are just pet peeves and as such, they are judgmental and pompous. My resentment and criticism of the behavior of others implies I am better than the people I am criticizing. In short Ė I too am like the lost big brother of the prodigal son. The Bible labels me a hypocrite and asks why I try to take the speck out of someone elseís eye when I have a plank in my own eye. Perhaps my own plank is blurring my vision. Iím confessing this to God and you and commit to work on taking that plank out of my eye but in the mean time, if you have football seats near me and I hear booing, youíd better watch out.
Cheryle M. Touchton is the Director of Pocket Full of Change Ministries. For more information or to schedule a speaker for an event, go to www.pocketfullofchange.org or call Gail Golden at 904 316-5462.
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