Wednesday, September 20, 2017

A Problem With Dirty Curtains?

Even in her nineties, my wife’s grandmother was a cheerful pillar of strength. But she learned early.

When her father was Geelong’s mayor, her mother died suddenly. As the eldest daughter but still a teenager, there were times when Gran had to assist in formal functions!

Seventy years later, a beautifully-inscribed appreciation certificate still hung proudly on her wall.

As mayor, Henry Brownbill received a driving licence, but no driving lessons. Back then, cars were a rarity, but his legendary stubbornness compounded lack of skill to produce some hilarious episodes.

Once he missed a corner and drove onto someone’s front veranda. The homeowner came out and demanded an apology. In vain, for even as the car reversed off the veranda, his esteemed civic numero-uno was declaring: “Anyway, your wife’s got dirty curtains!”

Since then, any family members who refuse to admit their mistakes may be gently asked: “Does your wife have dirty curtains?”

“I was wrong” is rarely heard anywhere today – especially in politics. Maybe it’s to avoid lawsuits or electoral landslides, but what progress can we make if we deny any need for correction?

Jesus compared this inconsistency with trying to remove a speck from someone’s eye while a great plank is protruding from our own. “Don’t be stupid! First remove your own plank so you can see clearly, before trying to fix problems which may well be much smaller.”  

It may include brief embarrassment, but the forgiveness within God’s grace can turn any dirty curtains into clean consciences.

Noel Mitaxa

On behalf of a church near you,

Inviting you to explore God’s love

 

Noel Mitaxa On behalf of a church near you, Inviting you to explore God’s grace   Noel Mitaxa is from South Eastern Australia and has been in ministry since 1973, firstly with Churches of Christ – similar to the Disciples in the USA – until 1990, when he moved to a faith-based inter-based inter-church sports ministry of sports evangelism, sports chaplaincy and sports media, before returning to pastoral ministry with Baptist Churches in 1996. Throughout his ministries, he has always aimed at building the kinds of churches that express God’s love practically, as much as verbally.  Most recently, this included a community centre for woodworking, a community garden and counseling and education programs. He also enjoys the methanol fix of speedway chaplaincy, in which he has served nine seasons as the Head Rev of all those rev heads!

He and his wife Judy have been married for 35 years; their four kids have grown up and they have three grandchildren. His writing began in 1982, with his first weekly Good News column, which has always focused on helping unchurched people to realize that God loves them and that He is already there for them.  The column has also been a tool for feeding and starting ‘water cooler’ conversations among Christians and non-Christians.  He also writes for Cypress Times in Houston TX.

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