First United Methodist Church, Lewistown, PA 17044  ~  717-248-4618   ~  fumc200@outlook.com

Do as I say, not as I do...

January 12, 2016

Almost had a small kerfuffle yesterday in the house. Yes, I  said 'kerfuffle'. (Google it)

I dressed for work and walked out to give Tracie a goodbye kiss. As I approached, she got a huge smile on her face and her head tilted sideways.  I've seen this look before and it was always associated with something I have done incorrectly. I slowed down and said, "What?" I followed her gaze to my clothing.

 

This is what she saw.

 

I was sporting a black shirt and navy blue trousers. I thought I looked fine, but apparently there is a law which states these two colors do not go together. We bantered back and forth and I defended my clothing choice in vain. (Not going to mention the brown belt I was wearing)

 

As husband and wife, we are lifetime students living into to the 'art of compromise'. I trudged back to the room and donned a pair of bluejeans instead. As I approached Tracie a second time, her grin was one of affirmation. Now it was my turn to giggle and point out a fallacy in our bantering.  

 

Here is what I saw.

 

We had a good laugh. Tracie defended her black and navy blue attire as her cleaning clothes which nobody outside of the house could see. Well played honey!

 

It made me think of the old adage, "Do as I say, not as I do."

The bane of every parent, spouse, supervisor, pastor, (anyone in positions of leadership) is the failure of people to follow instruction and correction. I can vaguely remember my own father sneaking an occasional cigarette, yet telling us kids to stay away from things like these. At the time, I never equated his instruction being in opposition to his actions. I respected his instruction and did not touch cigarettes. Mom always knew when dad smoked, because he would chew Beechnut Peppermint gum voraciously.

 

In retrospect, I now see his actions were two-fold in dysfunction. 

1. It wasn't healthy to smoke.

2. It wasn't good to withhold this practice from mom.

 

Eventually, dad quit smoking for good and probably extended his life by 15-20 years. Thanks for making that concession dad.

 

Are you one in a position to instruct? Are your instructions being followed?

Can you find ways to compromise with people with whom you disagree and find a way forward so that the relationship is bolstered? 

Are you okay with receiving instruction? Do you value the opinions of others? In the midst of a 'kerfuffle', can you see an amicable way forward to strengthen your relationship?

 

The world needs more leaders who can instruct and do so in love. The world needs people to be open to instruction and to see the value of working toward a solution.

 

Tip of the day:  If you're going out today, do a double take in the mirror and avoid wearing black and navy blue.

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