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Never Lick a Moving Blender!
He had the most pitiful expression on his face you ever saw. Im talking about GrimmMother Gooses dogfrom the comic strip by the same name. Hes a pitiful looking thing anyway. Hes always getting into troubledrinking from the toilet, hunting lunch in a garbage can, and other deplorables.
This time he went too far, and the picture told the whole story. Most comic strips have three or four frames. Today there was only one. Grimm was at the far left. The blender was at the far right. Grimms tongue stretched the full distance between, caught in a tangled mess around the blades of that blender. The caption said it all. It preached the sermon and gave this advice: "Never lick a moving blender!"
How many times have you made Grimms mistake? You can follow his thought process as he spots that blender at work. Looks good. Smells right. Intent harmless. But the effort wasnt worth the pain.
Lots of things in life are like that. Kids disobey their parents. They dont really mean any harm; theyre just having a little fun. They dont want to hurt anyone, but disobedience gets to be a habit. Before long it seeps into the classroom. It extends to the community. A little theft occurs here and there. Looks okay. Smells right. Just seems like a little fun that brings a few kicks. Nobody really gets hurt.
We all expect to be the exception to the rule, but what we expect and what we get are sometimes vastly different. Our tongues get caught in the blenders of life. Theres a bunch of pain we hadnt counted on. We become one more statistic proving the old adage that "crime does not pay!"
Dont Cut Off Your Nose to Spite Your Face
There are lots of sayings that call to usclichés that click, pointers that really point somewhere. Heres another one: "Dont cut off your nose to spite your face." It means dont retaliate when it will hurt you more than it will help the situation.
Remember the story? One guy holds his finger against a brick wall. He says to his friend, "Hit my finger." Of course he moves his finger at the last minute and the friends fist hits hard, rough bricks, skinning his knuckles. To get revenge, the friend says, "See if you can hit this." And he holds his forefinger against his own nose. Pow!
You wouldnt be so dumb would you? But you might hold a grudge against someone. You might say, "Ill get you back if its the last thing I ever do!"
Grudges always hurt the "grudger" more than the "grudgee." Our attempts at revenge hurt us more than they help. You stay away from the family reunion because someone will be there who has done you wrong. You quit church because someone hurt you or because you didnt agree with some decision that was made.
Never give anyone the power to affect the peace and harmony of your life. Staying away from that reunion can affect scores of people. Damage may be done for years to come.
Quitting the church because of something someone else did is a lot like getting mad at the dog and kicking the cat. The church belongs to Jesus. He died for it. He bought it with his blood. Dont let anyone affect your response to the amazing grace of the cross.
Dont Drown Your Sorrows in Alcohol!
Your problems seem insurmountable. You dont think you can go on. You want to throw up your hands and throw in the towel. Youve had it. Youre at the end of your rope; so you head for the bottle.
Your intentions are good. You need the escape. Problems look different through the bottom of a whiskey bottle. If you drink enough, hey, problems will disappear. Everything will be different. But you cant drown your sorrows. They float! And the result wont be worth it.
When you wake up from that drunken stupor, your problems will still be there, only they will have multiplied. Where is my car? Does it have all the fenders? What am I doing in this room? This bed? Who is this woman? What am I going to do now?
The question is not, "Where can I run?" The questions ought to be, "How can I fix this? How can I get my job back? How can I hold my marriage together? Lord, what will you have me do?"
Everything is based on cause and effect. Each decision causes a specific result. Weve got to face that. Its like the light switch on the wall. You cant switch it off and expect the light to come on. "There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death" (Proverbs 14:12).
If You Want Strawberries, Dont Plant Broccoli
We all want the same outcometo be happy and to end up with a reasonable measure of health, wealth, and happiness. "Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows" (Galatians 6:7). Broccoli seeds wont produce strawberries.
Seeds are strange little thingsthey teach us a lot about life. They dont grow unless they are planted. And good news: we can plant what we want. If we want watermelons, we plant watermelon seed. If we want strawberries, weve got to plant strawberries. The problem is that some people want to plant one thing and reap another. We want one result, but we do what brings the opposite result. We want to plant immorality and reap respectability. We want to plant dishonesty and reap a reputation of integrity. It simply doesnt work that way.
And seeds are powerful. I have a 175-foot driveway. Every year I battle grass that grows right up through the asphalt. Its great to know that if the right seeds are planted in the right place, youll get the desired result.
Its also true with life. We can plant whatever we choose, from our attitudes, to our reactions, to our responses. Dont plant bitterness and expect to reap tenderness. Dont neglect your family today and expect them to lovingly gather around you in your later years. Dont dissipate your body with alcohol and drugs and expect the joys of good health when you grow old. "You may be sure that your sin will find you out" (Numbers 32:23).
It doesnt matter who the planter is. Its a law of sowing and reaping. Once we learn this fantastic principle, we can decide what we want. Then we plant the words, decisions, and actions that are necessary. The end result should be what we wanted in the first place.
Dont Try to Leap a Chasm in Two Jumps
It was obviously his first airplane ride. We were enroute from Los Angeles to Honolulu. In his nervousness he asked the flight attendant, "Miss, is this a nonstop flight?" With a knowing smile she replied, "I sure hope so."
Leaping a chasm in two jumps is impossible, and so is living without love. But some attempt the impossible anyway. They are afraid to love, afraid theyll be hurt. Theyve been hurt before; so, now theyre "once burned, twice shy." They dont want to repeat the experience; so they choose to keep their feelings to themselves. They choose not to express their love in words or actions because they think they are safer that way.
But the end result is toughness on the outside and rot on the inside. Sure love is vulnerable. Sure you can get hurt if you love. But the alternative is not worth it. Living without love is not living at all.
Some attempt another impossible taskthey try to live without giving. Someone has said there are three philosophies about your possessions:
- Whats mine is mine and you cant have it!
- Whats yours is mine if I can get it!
- Whats mine is yours if you need it!
The first two dont lead anywhere worthwhile.
The first Christians had the right philosophy. "They gave to anyone as he had need" (Acts 2:45). "No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had" (Acts 4:32).
Jesus taught, "Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you" (Luke 6:38).
Preachers sometimes misunderstand this verse. They see the word give and immediately pass the collection plates. But the word money is not in that verse. In fact, it doesnt appear anywhere in the chapter. Its a principle. It applies to everything.
Do you want trouble? Give it and youll get plenty of it back. Do you want love and affection, good relationships, and a good marriage? Do you want health, wealth, and happiness? The verse says "give and it will be given you." And the return will be "a good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over."
This is especially true in marriage. Two simple things are of vital importance for a happy, successful marriage: study your mate, and give your mate everything he or she needs.
We are really simple creatures. Write down what it takes to please you. What do you need from your mate? Youll write things like, "I need to be loved," "I need affection," "I need to feel needed," "I want to feel a part of his life." Before you have written five things, they will already be overlapping. And the Bible promises youll get much more than you give.
Poor old Grimm. His intentions were good. He didnt want to hurt anybody. And for sure, he didnt want to hurt himself. I think he learned a painful lesson. Hopefully you have too. At least the next time youre around a moving blender, dont lick it!