I have a little pet. I call him Peeve.
He follows me around. He rarely leaves my side.
He is a little mangy, and people say he’s angry.

They call my poor Peeve names and say bad things about him,
just because he bares his teeth, and snarls, and foams a little at the mouth.

Well… I will admit he bites sometimes.
That is, he bites others often.
But in his defense, he only bites me when the occasion suits him.

And so, I feed and care for him to keep him strong and healthy.
After all, he is my dear pet Peeve.

Do you have a pet peeve? That something that always seems to tic you off. Maybe it is when your spouse leaves the cap off the toothpaste or when your son drinks from the orange juice carton instead of pouring it into a glass. Maybe it is being cut off by someone at the intersection or having to wait for people who always arrive late. Maybe it is a certain phrase people use or a certain way some people react. If you have a pet peeve–or you know someone who has one–you know exactly what I am talking about.

If you want a definition, here is how I would define it:

A “pet peeve” is an issue, action, or circumstance regarding which I have granted to myself the right to react with disproportionate anger.

In other words, a pet peeve is something that I feel I have a right to express selfish anger over. Yes, I said selfish anger. You see, there are some things I should be angry about. I should be angry about the things that make God angry; things like injustice, immorality, brutality, deception and unforgiveness. But when it comes to my pet peeve, it is usually about my wants or my preferences or my opinions rather than about the kinds of things that God cares about. And I not only justify my pet peeve to myself and others, but I feed and nurture it, even when it bites me in return.

America is a nation that traditionally defends the rights of its citizens. But if you are a believer, your citizenship is in heaven, not on the earth. The law we are subject to is the law of grace and of love: love that is patient and kind, not arrogant, and that does not insist on having things its own way.

If you are going to be obedient to the law of Christ, there are times you must choose to lay aside your “rights” in favor of being like Jesus Christ, Who said,

“If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matt. 16:24-25)

Maybe you need to re-think your attitude. Maybe you need to stop feeding your pet peeve.

Pastor Cindy

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