You The Grouch

A wide berth.

That’s what I’m tempted to take around you, today.

You know why?  Because today you seem to be a little…

Oscar-the-Grouch-Scram

GROUCHY!

Fair enough.  I have my Oscar the Grouch days, too.

But why?  What causes us to prickle up and bristle like a porcupine?

What flips that switch that causes us to take everything the wrong way, to roll our eyes and speak in a rough voice?

Is it job stress?  A messy house?  An unpleasant phone call?  The cold?

I don’t know, but it can really hit us this time of  year.  One minute we’re fine, and the next…

We’re GROUCHY!

Wait, now I’m grouchy, too.  Thanks a lot.

This stuff is contagious.  If we went out in public we could start an epidemic.

Is there a cure for grouchiness?  Is there an antidote, or must we slump down into our trash cans and sigh with exasperated resignation?

Hmm.  Maybe that’s it.

Maybe Oscar is always grouchy because he lives in his own trash.  He refuses to separate himself from the thoughts and feelings that are making him grouchy.

Here’s a verse from Ephesians 4:31-32:

Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, and be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.

Maybe that’s what makes us grouchy.  We forget to take out the trash.  

It couldn’t sound simpler — when grouchy (or worse) thoughts and feelings come, we’re supposed to throw them away and get rid of them.  They’re not useful or helpful.  Grouchiness is not something to embrace!

Or it shouldn’t be, but this kind of trash is sticky.  Like gum on the bottom of your shoe.  All too often, just like Oscar, we choose to just live in it.

The antidote, as Ephesians describes, is kindness, forgiveness, and tenderheartedness.  With each other, ourselves, and God.  How could we have forgotten that?

Okay then, grouchy pants.  It’s time to take out the trash.  And I’ll do the same.

The next time we run into each other, let’s be living in God’s love instead of our trash cans.

Acting out of kindness, rather than grouchiness, can be a tough role to remember to play sometimes,

but you’ll be happy to know that the more you play it,

the less you’ll deserve an Oscar.

Have a Great Week,

Mitch

originally posted January 2014

 

SUIT UP

knights-armor-142694_640

 

Ready?  Let’s Suit up!

*CLOMP THUD CLOMP THUD*

I apologize for the racket.

I’m making a little more noise than usual as I walk around today.

Typically, I’ll just wear regular clothes, but today, I feel the need…

for the Armor of God.

Know what I’m talking about?  Read it here from Ephesians.

Therefore put on the full armor of God,so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.  Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.  In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.  Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  Ephesians 6:13-17

Yep.  So I’ve got my great big Belt of Truth on.  It’s got a gigantic buckle with a dove on it.  Very disco, if you ask me.

And I’ve got a big ole breastplate of Righteousness. (With a giant “R” on it, of course)

Next, I’ve got some huge clunking gospel boots for some all-terrain Peace making.

Oh, and don’t forget my shield.  I’ve never actually tried to intercept a flaming arrow before, but I can attest that this shield of Faith is heavy duty.

Then I’ve got my classy helmet of Salvation, decorated in rhinestones and cubic zirconia.

And last but not least, my sword of the Spirit.  It’s not really very sharp, but it gleams a brilliant white light.

Whew.

Do you know how many thrift stores and Renaissance festivals I had to go to get all this stuff?

To be honest, it’s hard for me to even type out this devotion, with all the gear I’m carrying today.

Actually, I seem to be chafing a little bit.

And I’m quite hot.

Hang on…

Upon further reading, I think this passage is supposed to be a metaphor.

In other words, we can carry Truth, Peace, Righteousness, Faith and Spirit with us, all with no hindrance.

Just because the Armor of God isn’t made out of metal, that doesn’t mean it’s not there.

Each morning when you get dressed, it can be a part of your wardrobe.

Can you imagine the benefits?

All you have to do is pay attention to what you’re putting on.

Ready?

Let’s SUIT UP!

Have a great week,

Mitch

3949084484_c5ba50ea63_z

(YOU) the grouch

A wide berth.

That’s what I’m tempted to take around you, today.

You know why?  Because today you seem to be a little…

Oscar-the-Grouch-Scram

GROUCHY!

Fair enough.  I have my Oscar the Grouch days, too.

But why?  What causes us to prickle up and bristle like a porcupine?

What flips that switch that causes us to take everything the wrong way, to roll our eyes and speak in a rough voice?

Is it job stress?  A messy house?  An unpleasant phone call?  The cold?

I don’t know, but it can really hit us this time of  year.  One minute we’re fine, and the next…

We’re GROUCHY!

Wait, now I’m grouchy, too.  Thanks a lot.

This stuff is contagious.  If we went out in public we could start an epidemic.

Is there a cure for grouchiness?  Is there an antidote, or must we slump down into our trash cans and sigh with exasperated resignation?

Hmm.  Maybe that’s it.

Maybe Oscar is always grouchy because he lives in his own trash.  He refuses to separate himself from the thoughts and feelings that are making him grouchy.

Here’s a verse from Ephesians 4:31-32:

Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, and be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.

Maybe that’s what makes us grouchy.  We forget to take out the trash.  

It couldn’t sound simpler — when grouchy (or worse) thoughts and feelings come, we’re supposed to throw them away and get rid of them.  They’re not useful or helpful.  Grouchiness is not something to embrace!

Or it shouldn’t be, but this kind of trash is sticky.  Like gum on the bottom of your shoe.  All too often, just like Oscar, we choose to just live in it.

The antidote, as Ephesians describes, is kindness, forgiveness, and tenderheartedness.  With each other, ourselves, and God.  How could we have forgotten that?

Okay then, grouchy pants.  It’s time to take out the trash.  And I’ll do the same.

The next time we run into each other, let’s be living in God’s love instead of our trash cans.

Acting out of kindness, rather than grouchiness, can be a tough role to remember to play sometimes,

but you’ll be happy to know that the more you play it,

the less you’ll deserve an Oscar.

Have a Great Week,

Mitch