Lukewarm

The Unforgivable – Luke Warm Beer and Cold Coffee

Ed, my neighbor next door, can be severely opinionated about anything and everything. He has more things that he considers just plain wrong than an official rule book. I think Ed missed his calling as a farmer, as I believe that he should have been a persecuting attorney. We all get carried away and act as both judge and jury occasionally, but Ed likes to do it 93% of the time.

The other day I foolishly mentioned to Ed that my car and van both need to go to the car wash. Ed, instantly, said that going to the car wash is a waste of money. I should just wait for it to rain.  When I asked Ed why he always has his truck looking like it came out of the showroom, he said that his truck was worth something. Since I do not have trucks, the case is closed for Ed, as he considers them junk and unworthy of serious attention.

I have learned through the years that Ed has countless verdicts about the value of endless things. In Ed’s mind, many things are just plain wrong and should never happen. Here are a few of those things: meals that do not include potatoes and meat; men with either a pony tail or various colors of hair; opera and classical music; dogs in coats and boots; big cities with eight lane traffic; men who don’t drink alcohol or swear; and wearing a suit to weddings and funerals that you are forced to attend. These things and others can ruin Ed’s day, and violate his sense of right and wrong.

Ed has a passion in his life for what is wrong with others and this world. He is not a lukewarm kind of guy, as he tends to run hot or cold about what he sees. Ed clearly says what he thinks and is not a person of self-doubt. It is so simple to Ed that if you disagree with him, then you are wrong. He claims that he doesn’t know everything, but he knows what is best in his mind, and if it is right for him it right for everyone. If he is served warm beer or cold coffee, Ed will spit them out, and he says that others should also. I once said to Ed that he had a God complex, and his response was that I was wrong and didn’t know what I was talking about. Maybe if you feel others are consistently wrong you do have a God Complex.

Self-awareness, that we are not always right is a gift from God. What we think, believe and do can be settled in our minds, as good and right, but perhaps it is not so with God or other folks. As hard as it is to believe, no one but God is right all the time. The Bible says that we are to clothe ourselves with humility toward one another because God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. God worked in humility as his son was born in a stable and died on the cross. The more one draws close to God’s word the less ready they become in being a judge and jury towards others.

 

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Raymond Maher
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