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Majoring in Minors

The regular readers of these articles will hopefully understand that they are not written in an accusatory manner. The lesson’s title this time certainly exemplifies the struggles I have had, and at times still have, with stressing the trivial ahead of the vital. This phrase has been around for quite awhile and succinctly nails a problem of humanity.

At times interactions between people start with minor irritations and disagreements. If they are allowed to simmer without resolution, they can morph into anger and  rage. Better to “simmer down” or “take a chill pill.”  An incident this year in Denver resulted in a murder because the killer was infuriated with the victim’s casual attitude about something as minor as not cleaning up the feces of his dog. Talk about making a mountain out of a molehill.

God’s people are in no sense immune from majoring in minors. Cain wasn’t, ( Gen 4: 3-8) Samson wasn’t, ( Jdg 15:1-3) Ahab wasn’t, ( 1 Ki 21:4-6) Miriam and Aaron weren’t, ( Nu 12-1-2) nor were many of the Kings of Israel and Judah. The early Christians also had their share of disputes about minor matters.  The Corinthians were quarreling about which apostle to follow        ( 1 Cor 3: 1-9). Even Paul and Barnabas had such a sharp disagreement over whether to take John Mark with them on a missionary journey, that they parted company ( Act 15:36-39).

So many times this behavior is caused by ego and jealousy and fueled by perceived insults. How    should Christians today avoid, “…repaying evil for evil or insult with insult?” ( 1 Pe 3:9).  Proverbs wisely states, “A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult ( 12:16).  We would do well to listen to and obey the example of the Godhead, “slow to anger, abounding in love…” ( Ex 34:6) ( Nu 14:18)( Ne 9: 17) ( Ps 103:8) ( Eph 4: 26).  David says that, “…Time after time He (God) restrained His (justifiable) anger ( Ps 78:38). Even now the Lord is, “…patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish…” ( 2 Pe 3:9).

Christians today have a huge advantage beyond secular advice because we have been given an internal spiritual thermostat to keep the minors minor ( Gal 5: 22-23) ( Acts 5: 32) ( Rom 5:5).  If we adjust our spirit with the Holy Spirit, we will set the controls to forbearance ( Col 3:13) ( Eph 4:2) and longsuffering ( Nu 14: 18) ( 2 Cor 6:6) and learn to major in the majors.

Jim Bailey

Good article from Jim Bailey.    Thanks for sharing it with us Jery.

Chet Wiswell, Elder