“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter. ’tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” Mark Twain

What I Learned On Christmas: Service

Click here if you want to see what I learned about love on Christmas Day - and watch for another post on gratitude in the next several days.
It's amazing what things can make me bitter and angry.
You'd think, with all the "big" struggles my family has had over the past several years, I would have learned "not to sweat the small stuff." But I haven't.

I don't(for the most part, anyway) get angry with the Lord about Marc's health struggles, or grow bitter about the financial, emotional, and spiritual struggles that may loom over us. But inconvenience me in some minor way--alter my little schedule without my blessing--and frustration and bitterness often take over my emotions.

You see, I had our Christmas Day planned out beautifully. Have lunch with the inlaws by noon. Be home by early afternoon. Enjoy an unrushed,leisurely Christmas with my hubby and two kids, opening and playing with gifts and praising the Lord for the greatest gift of all: His Son.
But it didn't turn out that way.
You see,  we didn't have our lunch by noon. Why is unimportant - but just know that I decided it was the result of someone else's selfishness. And I got grumpy. And bitter. On CHRISTMAS.

What was REALLY happening? I was the selfish one, demanding that everything go MY way (and, by the way, not even sharing with the person who was supposedly being selfish what my desires were). Not good.

So, as I waited, seething, I heard a whisper in my ear.
Do the dishes.
Why? They're not mine. I don't want to.
Do the dishes.
So I did the dishes. I served, without being asked (by a person, anyway!), the person who was making me mad. And with every scrub of a plate, every soaking of a spoon, my anger lessened and my bitterness decreased. And I learned an important lesson.
It's hard to be angry and bitter at someone you're serving. If you do it in God's strength, in fact, it is near impossible.
And sure, my Christmas Day wasn't what I'd envisioned. But that's not what it was all about. God taught me the danger of bitterness--and a surefire way to eradicate it.

I'll leave you with a quote I came across on twitter that I've been pondering ever since I first saw it. Hope it gives you some serious food for thought.
Bitterness is the poison you drink hoping the other person will die -Corrie Ten Boom


  1. So glad you listened to the Lord's voice. It's so easy to let the little stuff get to us.

  2. It's so easy to get sucked down into bitterness, isn't it? I found that if I started praying for that person, it's very hard to stay angry with them either. I'll have to remember the dishes remedy too.

  3. Oh yes! I know the feeling. The last quote is absolutely awesome. (Love the cat, too!)

    We realize the danger in the big stuff, but get cocky when it comes to things we think won't be problems. They trip us up every time.

    Blessings on you.

  4. Wow. Great food for thought, JoDear! I've been there so often. Those little things slip under the radar so easily. gerph.


  5. It's hard to be angry and bitter at someone you're serving...

    Boy, you don't know how timely these words are for me. I need to get serving and get over my bitterness. I've been harboring some and desperately need to let it go; still and yet, serving will be a hard thing for me. This is why I need the Spirit of God activated fully in me; left to myself,I'm just undone.



  6. Very good, Jo! Boy, that cat looks cuddly, doesn't he? I really like that thought-provoker from Corrie.


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