Our Bible verse for today: “Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, urge you to live worthy of the calling you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:1-3 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Go ahead and cuddle up to the porcupine.”
I love John Ortberg’s book, “Everybody’s Normal – Till You Get to Know Them”. It’s a great title for a book – it’s funny and intriguing, and it makes you grin and want to read it. And sure enough, the title is a pretty good clue about the fun lessons that lie within.
The first chapter is entitled “The Porcupine’s Dilemma”. Porcupines need love too, and they want to cuddle too, but when they get too close to each other there’s the danger of getting poked by a sharp quill. You see, if the porcupine gets a little agitated, for any reason, the quills come out and then someone is going to get poked.
Hello! Welcome to church. We’re all a bunch of porcupines with sharp quills. We need and want love, and we want to have good relationships with others in our church family, but if you get too close, and if someone gets a little agitated, the sharp quills might come out and someone is going to get poked.
The answer to our dilemma is found in Ephesians 4:1-3. There Paul urges us to consciously and intentionally live with humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another in love. He wrote it again in Colossians 3:12-13. There he put it this way: “Therefore, as God’s chosen ones, holy and dearly loved, put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a grievance against another.”
Rather than getting upset or annoyed at other people’s peculiar personality quirks, learn to laugh about them. Find amusement in the fact that we are all a little weird. John Ortberg playfully illustrates that in his book by explaining that if you were an item for sale in a department store, you would be featured on the bargain clearance table along with a sign that says “Slightly irregular. Flawed. Sold as is.” The fact is that none of us are “normal”. We’re all flawed and we’re all annoying in some way. There really is no “normal”. So lighten up and laugh about it.
By the way, if you’ve had to stand in a grocery store check-out line recently then perhaps you have seen the glaring headline on the front cover of a popular women’s magazine that reads, “Totally Normal Women Who Stalk Their Ex-Boyfriends!”
Seriously? They stalk their ex-boyfriends but they’re totally “normal”? Evidently the dating scene has changed in the forty-three years since I’ve been in it! There must be a new normal these days! I think I’ll just cuddle up to my sweet wife (sharp quills and all) and be grateful for what I have. We’re both a little odd and occasionally annoying (me much more than her), but we’ve learned to laugh about it.