On the way to church my children would sit in the back seat picking fights over senseless things.
“This is my side of the car!” one would yell. “You are breathing on my side of the car!”
“She’s looking at me!” the other would counter.
I would grab the rearview mirror and give them “the Sunday morning look of love,” an unmistakable glare warning of the catastrophic consequences if the battle continued. That would be followed by a lecture peppered with questions that had no rational answer.
“Do you want me to come back there?”
“Do you know what will happen if I stop this car?”
Swatting at them was not an option because all children are born with the innate knowledge of the one spot in the car your arm can never reach.
Most of my life I struggled to figure out how to discipline a child while driving, until an old gentleman pulled me aside and whispered, “A touch on the brakes brings them right into play.”
Unfortunately, the same kind of quibbling can follow us into adult life with disastrous results: church splits, destroyed relationships, bitterness and revenge.
In Romans 12, the apostle Paul gave this instruction to believers:
“Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (vv. 17-18).
If that doesn’t work, there is always the brakes.
Have you found yourself getting frustrated over the little things? What have you done to make peace with it? [reminder]
Go Deeper: Romans 12:9-21
This post is adapted from Ken’s Devotional book Lighten up and Live! 90 Light-hearted Devotions to Brighten Your Day. A perfect way to start your morning. Get it here.
My dad always threatened to stop the car and make one or more of us three girls walk. I remember at least once when we were 1/2 mile from home he did stop. We had no idea if he really meant it or not!
Thank you for your insight on this topic.