31 October 2016
Reading: Job 22; Mark 7-8
13 He then left them, got back in the boat, and headed for the other side. 14 But the disciples forgot to pack a lunch. Except for a single loaf of bread, there wasn’t a crumb in the boat. 15 Jesus warned, “Be very careful. Keep a sharp eye out for the contaminating yeast of Pharisees and the followers of Herod.” 16 Meanwhile, the disciples were finding fault with each other because they had forgotten to bring bread. 17 Jesus overheard and said, “Why are you fussing because you forgot bread? Don’t you see the point of all this? Don’t you get it at all?” (Mark 8:13-17 MSG)
They were in a boat in the middle of Lake Galilee and they’d forgotten to bring lunch. Peter said to Andrew, “It was your turn to get lunch!” Andrew replied, “I was busy with crowd control and asked Nathanael to do it.” Nathanael said, “Don’t blame me. You guys always blame me!”
Jesus was making a point about how easily simple truth can be contaminated by special interest groups. They got into a petty argument about whose fault it was that they hadn’t brought lunch. Jesus was trying to get his guys to see what he saw and think the way he thought. They kept getting bogged down in petty disagreements!
I hate pettiness, small thinking, blame-fixing, and fault-finding. I hate it most when I find it in me! It’s an occupational hazard for people who are involved in “professional ministry” to see what isn’t working right, who didn’t do their job properly, and what could have been done better or differently in a worship service.
Sometimes I long for the simple days when I was a simple Christ-follower and could just “go to church” and worship! Now I’m afraid I’m ruined for life. It’s not that I can’t simply sing and lift my hands and worship – I can do that and really experience God’s presence. It’s just that I have to fight the distraction of noticing the small stuff.
I know there’s a difference between petty criticism and the responsibility to work for excellence in all we do. I just hate it when I cross the line into pettiness and smallness.
Father, Please forgive me for pettiness, small thinking, fault-finding, and blame-fixing. I hate it when I do it. I ask for a big heart and for the ability to be in the moment with you. I want to see what you see and think what you think. Amen.