You aren’t supposed to do dishes on the right side of the sink and rinse them on the left! You do it backwards!
Not only is her potato soup too thick, she puts carrots and celery in it! When I eat potato soup, I want potato soup!
Differing ways of doing things can cause tension even in the best of relationships, including those in a Christian community. The tendency is to assume that our way is the best way and to consider any other way as bizarre. Often our way is simply a developed habit that we’ve never even considered. The following is a good example:
Husband: Honey, why do you always cut the end of the pork roast off before you place it into the roaster?
Wife: I really don’t know! That’s just what mom always did. I’ll call and ask her.
Daughter: Mom, why do you always cut the end off of the pork roast before you put it in the roaster.
Mom: I really don’t know! That’s just what grandma always did. I’ll call and ask her.
Mom: Mom, why did you always cut the end off of the pork roast before you put it into the roaster?
Grandma: Because I didn’t have a big enough roasting pan.
Before criticizing someone else’s approach and assuming that yours is better, it would be wise to consider:
they only want to air their own opinions.
• “Why do I do it the way I do?” You may find that you really don’t know!
• the other person’s way of doing it. You may find that it is better.
• that it never hurts to learn more than one way. You may need an alternative someday!
• “Is sharing my opinion in this situation really necessary?”
• that it is encouraging for other people to feel as though they occasionally have something worthwhile to offer.
While there is certainly nothing wrong with considerately sharing an opinion or a piece of knowledge, a “know it all” is only exposing his foolishness (Proverbs 12:23)!
In Paul’s letter to the Christian community in Philippi, he writes,
Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others (Philippians 2:1-4 (NASB)).
If you truly desire to be a part of a community united in love, be careful about assuming that your way is the only way and condescendingly voicing your opinion. Not only is this very detrimental to community relationships, you could end up being the butt of the pork roast!
P.S. Please feel free to contact me with questions, thoughts, topics you’d like to ponder or to read past articles at: http://whole-heartedlife.blogspot.com/. You may also contact me at:
In Search of the Whole-Hearted Life
505 Jefferson St.
Diagonal, IA 50845