strings

strings2

The gal and her sister had a disagreement. It seemed like from the time they were born the older sister wanted to control the younger sister. The older sister was very generous with younger sis. She always seemed to be loaning her clothes, cassettes (those things that used to hold music), and books. Older sister had a very open handed policy with her stuff for little sister. And that was good…but there always seemed to be strings attached. When she loaned her a top or a pair of jeans she always expected payback. Doing her chores…covering for her to Mom and Dad if she broke curfew…there always seemed to be some payback expected….there were strings. The relationship was always like that and younger sister became more and more cautious of borrowing things or accepting things from older sis because she knew there’d be strings.

The sisters grew up and there was less borrowing, so less strings. Younger sister had a well- paying job but took a pay cut because of restructuring…she was glad she still had a job, and older sister was concerned for her and wanted to help her out as best she could. Older sister was planning a move and younger sister could use a kitchen table and older sister was buying a new one for her new place. It seemed that little sis’ old table was on it’s last legs…so older sister offered it to her. Younger sister was feeling blessed and said ‘yes’ right away but found out that the new table was a little beat up and didn’t really go with her apartment. So, she had two tables on her hands. A short time later, there was a friend in need so she offered her the older sister’s table, that was now belonged to her.

You know what happened when the older sister found out? It hit the fan. The older sister blew up and younger sister was in the ditch…again.

‘What Do You Think Of Me? Why Do I Care?’ is a great title for a book. It stands out. I downloaded it onto the iPad a while ago. I’m sure I got it for a good price. I have a hard copy of it packed away in storage. It’s a book about people pleasing but honestly I haven’t read it yet but I have a feeling I know what it’s about.

I don’t know if you’re like me but I like to please people. I like to get along with people. There is that deep sense within me that if at all possible that I’m to be at peace with all men (Romans 12:18). I like to get along with people. I really do…but sometimes getting along with people rubs the wrong way in my relationship with God. Sometimes getting along with people means pushing truth to the side.

In the above story, the younger sister accepted the table from the older sister, and that was good. The older sister didn’t need it anymore but it didn’t seem to work for the younger sister. It was now her table and she had two. She, like her sister, was generous of heart and when she saw someone else in need, she wanted to help out. She had experienced the grace of God in her life and she wanted to be generous (2 Corinthians 8:1-4).

Should she have gone to the older sister and asked? Maybe….but the table now belonged to her…it was a gift…but it had strings.

These are some of the thorny issues in family relationships and in relationships with friends and neighbours. We want to be at peace but sometimes our faith and our relationship with God get in the way. God’s grace spurred younger sister on to be generous…that was the way that she was rewired by God.

You want to be accepted by the gang [and by gang I don’t mean gang gang] on your street. They have a party and you hang out and have fun but you don’t get wasted like everyone else. You are the one at the office that doesn’t cut corners or you work harder and are more productive and that may cause you friction in the work place. The other moms or dads that you hang with at play time have a very different approach to parenting than you do…they see you as having your kids on a short lease.

I want you to give consideration to the above story and as you do that, please consider the following verses:

[22] Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. [23] Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, (Colossians 3:22-23 ESV)

[29] But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.
(Acts 5:29 ESV) 

[28] And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.  (Matthew 10:28 ESV)

[26] “Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets. (Luke 6:26 ESV)

I’m not sure if the scenario that I began with was a purely God-pleasing vs. man pleasing thing. These are the thorny problems that we come into in sinful relationships on a daily basis. There are some that are much more black and white. I believe that the sisters needed to have a sit down conversation. May God grant us wisdom in difficult relational situations.

 

 

 

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