Do you have a pet peeve? Is there that one thing that just sets you off quicker than anything else? I heard one person whose pet peeve was people who have pet peeves. Hmm.
I think one of my greatest pet peeves is deception. I hate when people try and deceive me…especially when I know they’re doing it. One of my spiritual gifts is discernment, so very often I find people trying to feed me a line and I know it. I may or may not say anything, but I know as well as I know my name I’m being deceived.
It happened last night at church when a lady and her grown son came in needing gas money so she could go see her ailing mother in the hospital and then get back to Sale Creek. It happens all the time and for some reason, it’s always the same hospital and they always need to get back to Sale Creek. Go figure.
I actually thought of this because I was reading in Joshua 9 where the Gibeonites pulled the wool over the Israelites eyes by dressing in stanky clothes, acting like worn out travelers from “a distant country,” rather than coming as the neighboring people that they were. Why? They knew Joshua was cleaning house, defeating all of the peoples in the land God had given them. So they made a covenant that they would not be defeated. It worked, too (at least in the short term…deception never works in the end).
I get that a lot as a pastor, too. People not only coming dressed as beggars so they can get a handout, but well-dressed people come as devoted Christ-followers. They feed a line they think you want to hear and act a certain way (for a time), when all along they are “white-washed tombs”; sometimes actual wolves in sheeps clothing. Since it is almost always revealed sooner or later, why not just be honest from the start? I have so much more grace and compassion (and respect!) for those who come admitting they are broken people like I am, but am disgusted with the games.
I think God is, too. Actually, I think we all play this game with Him. You know that game where we dress ourselves up for Him and act like we’re OK, but all along we’re broken. It’s a sad little game. Today, I’m going to try and stop playing it, though, and get honest with God and the people around me. Because, you know, it is a pet peeve of mine…and besides, He already knows anyway and prefers we just ‘fess up so He can demonstrate the depths of His grace and compassion towards us.
The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. [2 Chronicles 16:9a]