There is a right way to do everything. I grew up with the assumption that everyone knew this, and have found it quite disturbing that the masses managed to grow up without knowing the proper way to do things. How can someone not know there is a right way to put a hamburger together? A right way to make a bed? A right way to organize your files? These are fundamental life skills!
I wasn’t taught how to properly construct a hamburger, it was just apparent. There is an order to it: The chosen condiment (mustard, mayo, or ketchup) is applied to the bun of choice, which has a top and a bottom (intended for use “right side up”). The meat (or veggie….yum!) patty is placed on the bottom half of the bun. If a cheeseburger is desired, the cheese should be placed on the patty while still warm in order to adhere properly, preventing any slippage while being consumed. On top of the cheese are placed any vegetables that may contain a measure of juice (tomatoes, pickles, etc.), as the cheese prevents the juice from soaking the patty. Onions are preferably cut in rings so as to remain on top of the preceding vegetables (as opposed to chopped, which are impossible to keep in place). And, of course, the lettuce is placed between all vegetables and the top bun in order to keep the bun from becoming soggy. The perfect hamburger.
One can only imagine my distress upon hungrily anticipating my order at a restaurant only to receive my burger improperly constructed! This detracts from the enjoyment of the meal, as I am strongly compelled to take it apart and put it back together again – the right way. (Virtually impossible if the cheese has been applied to the bun!)
People who know me are very familiar with the acronym OCD. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. The name in itself is ridiculous! (I should send a message noting this error to the person that named this condition…) It should be called Obsessive Compulsive ORDER. The whole point of the obsession is order! And the compulsion is to put in order anything that is out of order. (Warning: This is often misinterpreted when applied to a complete stranger.) I truly do not know why my brain works this way. From my earliest memories I could see how things “ought to be done”. And for many years did not understand why others did not appreciate being told how to correct their mistakes.
Surely when the Holy Spirit opened my eyes to a more expressive way to worship God He must be trying to get everyone to worship this way! And when He taught me how to pray more effectively I must get busy and help the rest of His children pray – the right way! Oh, and of course, the new revelation I received from that scripture I’d heard all my life – it must be the only real truth and those who disagree are, sadly, in error….
Perhaps there are more believers in the body of Christ with this condition than we ever imagined!!
Most of the things I know how to do “right” are meaningless to anyone who isn’t me (as indicated by the whole hamburger example). From time to time, I am able to share a method or process that works for me and someone else will benefit. However, I have learned to ask if they are interested before I dole out my vast wealth of knowledge. If you share with me this impulse to fix everyone else, we must consider more than just the courtesy of keeping our mouths shut. We must acknowledge before God that we are judgmental. Ouch. Because even if we don’t vocalize our thoughts, we are measuring how others do things, deciding in our own minds if it is right or wrong. And we’re not even talking about sin! We have opinions about how they raise their children, teach the Sunday school class, who their friends are, not to mention the doctrines they believe…
“But let every person carefully scrutinize and examine and test his own conduct and his own work. He can then have the personal satisfaction and joy of doing something commendable without boastful comparison with his neighbor. For every person will have to bear his own little load of oppressive faults.” Galatians 6:4-5
In the end, as we stand before God, what is going to matter?
“If I speak in the tongues of men and angels….if I have prophetic powers and understand all the secret truths and mysteries and possess all knowledge….if I give all that I have to the poor….if I surrender my body to be burned…
and have not LOVE, I gain nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13:1-3
This love for others is patient, kind, not conceited, not inflated with pride, does not insist on its own way, is ever ready to believe the best of every person. (1 Cor 13:4-5) This love gives others the freedom to be themselves and help when they fail, not condemnation. We are instructed in the chapter of Galatians mentioned above to be gentle with those who have sinned, as we are helping to restore them, paying attention to ourselves as we are not above temptation either! We are to bear one another’s burdens and troublesome moral faults – in this way we fulfill and observe perfectly the law of Christ! (6:1-2)
If we are going to strive to do anything right, let’s LOVE like He loved. Even if the hamburger is wrong.