Tea & Truth

A Break from the Heat

Jul 10, 2017

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The paper boy dutifully performed his task in Chicago’s cold, December air. But as he tossed the next paper onto the awaiting porch, his wheels hit black ice. The momentum from the throw made the bicycle’s wheels slip right out from under him, and he crashed to the ground. Hard.

I laughed. A lot.

Every time I see this video clip, I laugh. It gets me every time. As a survivor of five Chicago winters myself (including “Snowmageddon”), I can relate. I’ve fallen prey to the notoriously icy sidewalks myself. But why would I laugh at another’s misfortune?


Let’s face it: sometimes we’re mean. Our flesh comes out and shows its ugly head. The worst part is we derive some sort of pleasure out of another’s suffering. Maybe like me, it hit a funny bone. Or maybe it makes us feel better about our own shortcomings. Maybe we’re glad that that person finally got his or her comeuppance.

The opposite seems to bring out our ugly side as well. When someone else succeeds, the green monster of jealousy threatens to ruin our happiness. In no way are we worse off than before their prosperity, but for some reason, we struggle to share their happiness.


I’ve had to realize that we’re all on the same team. The Golden Rule took on a deeper meaning when I realized that I don’t want people reveling in my failures, so why would I find pleasure in theirs? And when someone succeeds or receives a blessing, it’s a lot more fun to celebrate with them than to steam in the corner like a jealous broccoli floret. Especially because there’s usually cake involved. Or pie.

I’ve learned that our battle isn’t against flesh and blood. “And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it” (I Corinthians 12:26). Why bother fighting with people if they aren’t the enemy? Our actual adversary, who desires every bad thing for us, doesn’t even hold a candle to God, our Creator and Protector. That same Protector created us to be in relationship with one another, to love each other – family, friends, even those who persecute us – with a sacrificial love.

What if we reallocate all that negative energy to encouraging others? To loving life alongside them? If we all focused on camaraderie rather than competition, how much better would we reflect John 13:35?

Let’s take a break from the heat of competition and comparison, and sincerely put effort into loving one another.

Family Radio Staff

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