A Dilemma of Porcupines

August 17, 2012

“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” (Ephesians 4:29)   

Communication is one of the greatest challenges we have in our life.  Whether it is in our marriage or in any of the relationships we have in our work and interactions with people on a daily basis, we find ourselves challenged by communication.

It takes courage to communicate because those who communicate with us often say things we need to hear but may not want to hear.  And we must say things people do not want to hear but need to hear.  In many ways when we communicate we face…

A Porcupine’s Dilemma

What’s a porcupine to do,
When faced with cold weather?
When the dark clouds can be construed,
Only as bringing a storm and nothing better,
For in a world of naught but porcupines,
Who among us should be so inclined,
To choose to envelop the other in ourselves,
Despite the threat of our sharp, prickly ends,
Is warmth so inviting,
Its promise so binding,
That a dozen pricks should be a necessary step,
In finding solace once the sun sets,
You see, in the end,
The coin flips between comfort and company,
Does the porcupine seek comfort in its kin,
Only to find pain through some sadistic irony?
Such is the porcupine’s dilemma,
As the wind begins to howl,
Should he enter his kindred’s embrace and suffer,
Or isolate himself and huddle down?        
(attributed to: Vishal Bala)

 We can be controlled by the fear of being stuck and isolate ourselves into a lonely self imposed solitary confinement.  Or, as courageous communicators, we can be controlled by the Holy Spirit and communicate very carefully—like porcupines embracing—and minister grace to our hearers.

Specks and Planks

June 15, 2012

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7: 3-5 NIV)

Jesus had a great sense of humor; I have long imagined He spoke these words with a smile on His face.  They are, however, very wise and profound words.  The way we perceive other people has everything to do with our relationships with them.

The story is told of two psychiatrists who rode the same subway every day to their office building.  Every morning one got off the elevator at the sixth floor and the other at the tenth floor.  One morning before the sixth floor psychiatrist got off the elevator he spit in the face of the other psychiatrist.  This happened every morning that week. On Friday the elevator operator asked the tenth floor psychiatrist, “Aren’t you going to do something about this?” He responded, “That’s not my problem.  That’s his problem.  He has a problem.  He spits on people.  But that’s not my problem.  He needs to get his head read.”

Very few of us are that secure.  But if we were we would know that it takes a strong person to not retaliate.  If we have a wholesome and positive evaluation of ourselves, and others with whom we have relationships, we would not play games like specks and planks.