Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Swatting Flies

This week, my roommates recently discovered flies in and around our house. (I personally, had killed three flies in my room, two wasps and one cockroach.) Could it be the trash? Extra moisture in the house or crumbs lying around? Who knows! Needless to say, I've kept a sharp eye out for any other critters who wish to meet an unfortunate death. 

Last night, while I was working at the internship, my roommates had a bonding session during which they attacked every fly in sight. I'm told one even began using her bare hands to crush them. 

Today I still spotted a few. So I gathered up a magazine - ready to strike.

Which makes me wonder: How often am I ready to strike, or confront problems when they arise? I pride myself in good, thorough communication skills. But when something is bothering me, how often do I breach the topic with the other party?

Confrontation is scary. During my two years as a Resident Assistant, we were taught the method known as "care"-frontation. In other words, there are ways to approach a subject tactfully. Constructive criticism about healthy behavior will probably be taken more favorably to a freshman than a slap on the wrist. 

On the same vein, when we face personal trials, how ready are we to own up to our struggles? I recently told a friend about a personal problem. She was sensitive, understanding and even willing to go the extra mile to help me out. 

Hebrews 10:24-25 says (The Message version here) 

So let's do it—full of belief, confident that we're presentable inside and out. Let's keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word. Let's see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching.

This week in church the pastor pointed out the word "spur." He first described it as a light feather worn on a cowboy's boot to tickle horse so that he moves. Wait, really? No, I was checking to see if you were paying attention. That was in jest, of course. Spurs HURT. At least, I can imagine they do. So if we - metaphorically - give our friends a sharp jab with a - metaphorical - spur, its actually biblical. How are we to grow in our faith and maturity if we don't get a dose of reality from the ones who love us? 

And sometimes, we need to "jab" ourselves when we know we're out of line. But that can be the hardest reality to grasp. 


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