Nitpicking Over Commas


Ever been part of a riveting church conversation like this?…

“I hear the new education guy wants to change our Sunday School curriculum. Says he thinks the stuff we’re using is not relevant.”

“What does that mean?”


“No. ‘Change.’”

“Use something different. You know, a new book or something.”

“Why? The eight of us have been perfectly happy with our stuff for 35 years now.”

“I don’t know. I’m just telling you what I heard.”

Happens all the time. If not curriculum, then staffing. If not staffing, then paint colors. If not paint colors, then the quality of the toilet paper.

“You’re hopeless, you religion scholars and Pharisees! Frauds! You keep meticulous account books, tithing on every nickel and dime you get, but on the meat of God’s Law, things like fairness and compassion and commitment—the absolute basics!—you carelessly take it or leave it. Careful bookkeeping is commendable, but the basics are required. Do you have any idea how silly you look, writing a life story that’s wrong from start to finish, nitpicking over commas and semicolons?” (Matthew 23:23-24, The Message)

Time to take a step back and look at the big picture. Time to watch the show on the widescreen, not on our phones.

Time to take inventory of where we are today. Time to start asking (and answering) the hard questions. Are we doing what we’ve been called, as a church, to do? 

Time to stop nitpicking over commas and semicolons.

The world at large is not being transformed by the quality of our toilet paper.

How do you respond to divisive church members nitpickers?

About pastoroftheprez

Pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Kings Mountain, NC.
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