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“The squeaky wheel gets the oil,” they say, and they’re right.  Even in the Church.

But why?

Why do we work so hard to impress and win those who withhold praise and encouragement?

Why do we take the best care of people who complain?

Why do we spoil the selfish, hurry for the impatient, and work around the inflexible?

Why do we suffer the cynic, muse with the mocker, and cater to the critic?

Why do we follow those who consistently choose to frown?

It just doesn’t make sense.

Are we that fearful?  Blind?  Insecure?  Maybe.  Or maybe we’re miserable, too, and want company.

Or maybe we’re generous.

Deep down, we know such behavior is unacceptable, especially from someone who holds a position of spiritual authority or influence.  Rather than believe the worst about them, that they are more worried about preserving self and projecting personality than representing the Savior well, we assume they must have a really good reason for behaving as they do.

For instance, maybe they’ve just experienced more heartache than some.  Maybe they’ve seen more ugliness than others.  Maybe they know just a little bit more…

So what? The rules don’t apply?  That’s not the way it works!

Those of us who put our faith in Jesus Christ for salvation from the consequences of sin have the power of God inside us in the form of the Holy Spirit.  He comforts.  He guides.  He empowers.  And as we cooperate, He transforms us into the image of Jesus Christ for God’s glory, so the world will know Who He is, acknowledge what He’s done, and praise Him for it.

Through God, we have victory over sin and death and our nasty human habits, but we have to choose it through submission and obedience to God.  Every moment of every day.  Jesus did, and He endured more than anyone else ever has or ever will.

Listen, we all have bad days, but those who continually fail to reflect the power of the Holy Spirit to transform sinners into saints in their response to circumstances and/or interaction with others either don’t really belong to God or are consciously choosing disobedience.  Either way, they’re treading thin ice and aren’t the ones we should follow!

Want to see real change in the Church?

I believe it will come when we stop oiling the squeaky wheels and turn our attention instead to our brothers and sisters who don’t demand it—forgiving, praying for, and being patient with those who aren’t yet living in victory, of course, but only allowing ourselves to be led by those who have seen ugliness and experienced heartache, but still choose to respond in love because they know the Father intimately and care more about glorifying Him than anything else.

Don’t be fooled, family!  Grumpy does not equal wise.  There’s strength behind a smile.