There I was getting my nails done when I remembered…
I had left a pan of boiling vinegar on the stove! Almost TWO HOURS AGO!
Would the fire department be at our house for the SECOND TIME in the same week?!
You’ll want to read this whole crazy story in my brand new book, Nasty Gets Us Nowhere, but I want to share it with you here because it really shows something we ALL have done, and maybe still do…
…something critically important that we need to talk about, especially right now, with the direction our culture has been going.
I was away from Gary ministering in Puerto Rico for a Happy Life kids’ outreach event, helping restore hope to a community that had been ravaged by hurricanes, when I got a call from our home security company.
Mrs. Keesee, a fire has been detected in your home.
What?!? A FIRE?!?
I knew Gary was supposed to be home, but the home security company hadn’t been able to reach him. I told them that he might be deer hunting and told them to go ahead and dispatch the fire department. I was concerned and I prayed, but knew there was nothing else I could do from that far away. So I turned my focus back to the children’s event.
Later, Gary texted me that everything was okay. He told me he had just started to cook his breakfast and left it to simmer while he stepped outside to hang up his deer. What he didn’t realize was that the simmer setting was hot enough to burn his food, let alone start a fire.
A few days later, Gary picked me up from the airport and we had breakfast and did some much overdue Christmas shopping. When we arrived home that evening, I knew right away that something was terribly wrong.
If you’ve ever burnt a bag of popcorn in the microwave, you know what our house smelled like.
Well, this smoke stench was WAY WORSE than burnt popcorn, and it was in every room of our house.
I couldn’t hide that I was annoyed. It was a week before Christmas and the house smelled terrible.
“I can’t believe you almost caught our house on fire! I better not leave you home alone again,” I teased Gary.
I knew he was already embarrassed, but he could’ve burnt the house down a week before Christmas! I thought I needed to remind him of the lesson he had already learned. Ugh.
The rest of the evening, I searched for ways to get the smell out of our house. Several websites suggested boiling white vinegar with water, so that’s what I did. The following morning, I did it again, but it wasn’t helping. Our house still reeked with that awful, smoky smell.
Later that morning, while I was getting my nails done, my nail technician asked if anything exciting had happened that week. I began to tell her about the kids’ event in Puerto Rico and then Gary’s pan fire. (I don’t make it a practice to share my husband’s mistakes, but with the smell still stuck up my nose, the fire was still very much on my mind.)
That’s the moment I remembered I had left a pan of boiling vinegar on the stove! Almost two hours ago!
You’ll have to read the rest of the story in Nasty Gets Us Nowhere, but I will tell you this:
Our house smelled worse than ever.
And what did I learn?
I had done the SAME thing Gary did. I almost burned our house down.
I had teased him and shamed him a bit for what he had done, and now I had done the exact same thing.
We do this same thing all too often—we judge, blame, and fault find, but we make the same mistakes others make or do the same things we complain about them doing.
Rather than seeing ourselves clearly, we MAGNIFY and emphasize the failures and shortcomings of others but minimize our own.
And sometimes we get downright nasty with each other.
Think about it. How many times have you been trying to get your point across with a neighbor, a coworker, the server who messed up your dinner order, the customer service rep on the phone, the combative person on Facebook…?
Or maybe you’re always kind to the people outside of your home, but it’s a slippery slope with the people you live with and are supposed to love the most?
The bottom line is that being nasty gets YOU nowhere.
AND NASTY ISN’T GOING TO GET US ANYWHERE AS BELIEVERS RIGHT NOW IN OUR NATION AND IN THIS CULTURE.
What WILL get us somewhere?
What will change things?
Is there ever a time you should be nasty?
I answer all of these questions and more in my brand new book, Nasty Gets Us Nowhere. But let me share this:
For us to see real change in our world, we MUST heal our fractures and unite as women and men succeeding together for the kingdom of God.
We are living in the hour in which God desires to pour out His Spirit on all the earth, through His sons and daughters, but it won’t happen unless women and men under His voice are unified for one purpose.
We can’t fulfill our God-ordained destiny without working together, and we MUST start in our marriages and families or we will never be able to impact our nation.
There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28)
Friend, people are flawed and imperfect, but treating each other with nastiness is never the answer.
I know it’s been really easy, with everything going on in the world, to get caught up in emotions and to easily MAGNIFY and emphasize the failures and shortcomings of others.
But nasty has gotten us nowhere. It’s only resulted in even more stress, confusion, and brokenness. We have to stop being nasty before we destroy everything.
We CAN succeed together… and much of our happiness depends on it. Working together won’t always be easy, but I believe with the grace of God backing you, it is possible!
Marriage, and other relationships, don’t have to be hard.
My brand new book, Nasty Gets Us Nowhere, promises to be one of the most thought-provoking books of the year. Learn how you can succeed with the men and women in your life! Get your copy here.