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We certainly could learn a lesson from the grumpy old man caught napping in the recliner by his mischievous grandson. The boy sneaked off to the refrigerator and got a chunk of stinky Limberger cheese and quietly rubbed it into Grandpa’s beard. Soon enough the stench awakened the old man who fussed that the house stinks. He walked outside, took a whiff and complained that the yard stinks. He walked out on the hillside, drew another breath and declared that the whole world stinks, when, in fact, it was only that old man who stunk.
Did you ever know people who think the whole world stinks? Those with the bad attitudes? They’re certainly not much fun to be around. They can drag others down with their continual fussing and quarreling.
God wants better for us, and He even warns us that we should choose our spouses carefully because it’s better to live up on the roof than inside a house with a quarrelsome mate. (Proverbs 25:24). But it’s not just at home that we can be exposed to bad attitudes. We may have to work around people who constantly nitpick. We may have them as neighbors. Sadly, we may even go to church with them.
Jesus had sharp words for the fault-finders of this world, calling them hypocrites in Matthew 7:5. “First take the log out of your eye,” Jesus said, “and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”
That reminds me of the story about the businessman who would stand in his store and gaze across the street at his competitor’s windows and complain about the dirt and grime on them. “Why, they are the dirtiest windows in town,” he’d exclaim.
Fellow business owners grew tired of the man’s continual complaints until one day, in a fit of honesty, a friend told him he should get his own windows washed. He followed the advice, and the next day he told his friend “as soon as I washed my windows, the competitor must have cleaned his too. You should see them shine.”