Twisted Thinking?


Noses don’t fold. I told him so several times, but he was not convinced. He seemed particularly determined to fold it in half to the right. Oh, my!

The human anatomy can endure only a limited amount of abuse. Especially the nose. I giggled right along with my three-year-old grandson for as long as I could. Eventually, though, my only resort was to distract him because he wasn’t going to give up.

He didn’t actually hurt me, but my nose felt, well . . . kinda funny for quite a while afterwards. Just long enough for me to consider the irony.

We’d enjoyed a silly, childish activity as he sat on my lap. However, I admit, I would not have tolerated similar treatment with such amusement from anyone but a grandchild. Nose-twisting diminishes in cuteness as the perpetrator matures.

There’s the rub.

I’m guilty of nose-folding. Adult style. Something I should have stopped doing many years ago.  Allow me to regretfully give some personal examples.

I’ve attempted to twist myself into places I don’t belong when I’ve wished myself  in other people’s circumstances. It’s often referred to as envy. I first discovered my jealous bent when I realized how much more energy other people seemed to have. I was convinced I could accomplish much more, especially in the ministry, if I were brimming with the rigorous vigor they displayed. I felt gypped. I wanted to be something I wasn’t meant to be: superwoman.

I’ve also wrongly tried to cram other people into awkward positions. My husband, for instance. I did it subtly. So subtly I didn’t even recognize the bind I put him in when I began all of my suggestions with the following: “You know what you should do?” It was easily corrected when I learned to offer an idea of what he could do instead. This tiny change gave him the opportunity to line up all the choices and make up his own mind. I stopped intimating my opinions were always superior, thus thrusting him into a tight spot. I stopped suggesting that any other choice made him something he was not: wrong.

When I’ve arranged conditions for my own convenience without regarding the convenience or needs of others, I am guilty of selfish manipulation. This often happens with no ill intent. It results when I merely fail to consider others when i make my plans. I must guard against thinking only of my own comfort lest I turn my friends, co-workers, or family members into an unwarranted position: my slave.

I must also guard against expecting God to bend His will to my desires. This obvious flaw appears when my prayers become a “to do” list for the Lord to check off. I forget He might want to do “exceeding abundantly beyond” anything I could even dream. If I fail to ask for His will to be done, I can actually limit His answers to my petitions. When this happens, I become something God never desires me to be: a loser.

How can I avoid these errors in thought and action?  A different type of bending and folding would be a good first step. Bending my knees and folding my hands to request help from the Lord would certainly help to mature my thinking.

Sometimes a good twist is all that is necessary to get my attention. It’s at least a good reality check. Perhaps “getting ones’s nose out of joint” is the answer rather than the problem. It certainly straightened me out!

“Keep thy ❤️ with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”                   Proverbs 4:23


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