Recently my wife got a splinter in her hand. It was very small (difficult to see) and impossible for her to extract on her own. Still, this small object caused her some pain and great annoyance. She finally summoned my help to do some "surgery." Once we got it out she said, "I can't believe how much this small splinter has disrupted my day!" Her experience, however, confirms a principle that proves true in many areas of life.
Sometimes we tend to let seemingly "little things" go unattended. We don't feel that they are that big of a problem and we simply try to simply ignore them. Sometime that works and problems just take care of themselves. But other times little problems, when left unattended, tend to grow. This can especially prove true with a variety of attitudes and relationships where we tend to rationalize our need to pay attention::
1. Resentment: "Sure, I have a bit of resentment. But I only dwell on it from time to time."
2. Bad Attitudes: "My child's attitude has been crummy lately; I hate the 'back talk' and 'fresh comments.' But it's probably just a phase."
3. Flirting: "I know I'm flirting with my co-worker, but it's all in fun. I would never think of having an affair."
4. Un-forgiveness: "I know I should let go and forgive, but in some ways I get satisfaction by keeping my spouse at an emotional distance."
5. Anger: "I don't really have an "anger management' problem; I just get a little overheated sometimes."
All of these, and other behaviors and attitudes, can seem like very small things, and sometimes we are able eventually to process these concerns in a constructive way. But if they are little things that persist, then like a small splinter they can fester and cause us great grief. Usually it's better, like my wife, to say, "Hey, I need some help with this. This splinter is driving me crazy." Allowing a loving spouse, friend, or counselor to help us get the splinters out of our life can be a wise and prudent decision.
Hebrews 12:15 is a good verse for us to ponder: "See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile, many." Small things can cause big problems. Seeking God's grace and finding hep from others can save us a lot of grief and pain.
Dr. Allen Schneider is a United Methodist pastor and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist presently serving the Sapulpa and greater Tulsa communities.