Do you remember the part in The Wizard of Oz when Auntie Em tells off Elmira Gulch? Toto supposedly has bitten Ms. Gulch and she has arrived at the Gale residence ready to take Toto to the Sheriff’s to be destroyed, Auntie Em says “Elmira Gulch, just because you own half the county doesn’t mean that you have the power to run the rest of us. For twenty-three years I’ve been dying to tell you what I thought of you! And now… well, being a Christian woman, I can’t say it!”
There have been many times I would have liked to tell someone exactly what I thought, but “well, being a Christian woman,” I couldn’t. I know, I know, even THINKING the thoughts dooms me, but sometimes the anticipated satisfaction of getting my two cents in is tempting!
A friend of ours was recently commenting on the fact that he is really trying to change his life, to be a better person, etc. But he also mentioned there are times when he’s driving that other drivers make him so angry that he has said “Don’t make me lose my Christianity!!”
We offered up several excuses for the driver – maybe there was an emergency or maybe they just had “one of those moments.” Like the driver I saw the other day who just ran the stoplight. Not speeding through a yellow light and getting caught in the red – no, they just kind of “lolligagged” through the intersection like they were unaware of where they were … and I know I’ve had those moments, dangerous as they might be, when I’m driving along and wonder how I got to be this far along. (Now I know for sure no one will ever ride with me again …)
And really, if we were allowed one day in which to tell people exactly what we were thinking, at the end of the day would we be better off? Maybe the releasing of some pent-up frustration might temporarily make us feel better, but I’ll bet later we would regret our harsh words.
Pastor Bill mentioned, during his message last Sunday, that we should strive to look at people through the eyes of Jesus. Well, now that just takes all wind out of our righteous sails, doesn’t it? But it’s true. How differently would we all act and feel if we kept that message in mind?
Romans 12: 10 tell us, “Love each other with genuine affection and take delight in honoring each other.” My Study Bible explains the verse this way: “As Christians, we honor people because they have been created in God’s image, because they are our brothers and sisters in Christ and because they have a unique contribution to make to Christ’s church.”
I was just about to hit the “publish” button for this blog when I went back to reread the scripture. The verse previous to the one I listed above reads, “Don’t just pretend that you love others. Really love them.”