May 23, 2011

I Love Humans & Animals; It’s People & Squirrels I Can’t Stand

Outside my door is a feeder where my bird food banquet attracts cardinals and chickadees, wrens and woodpeckers, as well as an annoying squirrel. I don’t like Mr. Squirrel. He takes big bites out of my expensive High Energy "Now with Mixed Nuts!" Suet Cake and doesn’t give me anything in return.

My only remedy is to make the metal pole slippery with cooking spray so that the suet thief slides down without achieving his mission. I feel avenged, but Mr. Squirrel takes no notice. Now, he is at the feeder next door.

Why does a two-pound creature provoke a college-educated woman? Mr. Squirrel reminds me of humans who ignore my rules. If your ministry doesn’t entail a frustrating person, it will. She may not be annoying to everyone, but she bothers you. This person might be good at taking and incapable of giving. Or, her habit of fill in the blank drives you nuts.

Some who partake of our ministry are not easy for me to like. If I could make problem people slip out of my life by using cooking spray, I would. My attitudes are not always godly.

What is a more biblical perspective?
  • It is never right to be irritated at others because they act against my personal preferences. In love and consideration, I should humbly put their needs above my own. Romans 12:3
  • Other people will always have sinful behavior. God is their judge. I, too, have sinful behavior. I need to put off self-righteousness and repent of my own bad attitude. Matthew 7:3
  • It is not up to me to decide who will be worthy of my ministry. God brings people into my life for a reason, and I must act in obedience to His plan. Furthermore, I should rejoice in God’s will because it is for my good. Jeremiah 29:11
  • I am commanded to love others. Love is not an option in ministry. Instead, it is an umbrella that should cover what I do. I must pray that God will enable me to grow in love toward those He puts in my path. John 15:12
The Bible doesn’t rank the importance of animal species so I am free to continue outwitting Mr. Squirrel. On the human front, I will continue to wage war on sin in my life so that I can love people more and find them less frustrating.


  1. I wonder if my own squirrel-resentment comes from my false perception that I bought the birdseed. In reality, our gracious God is the One who is generously filling the feeder for all of us!

  2. that was timely! thank you! i'm the newly married wife of a young pastor who has just planted his first church:) and it's scary how quickly irritation with squirrels can set in without you even noticing! i'm encouraged by the Word - thanks again!

  3. Megan, I think part of the issue is that I evaluate others by my idea of worthiness. I buy seed for the attractive birds and get upset when greedy squirrels show up. I forget that, apart from the work of Christ in my life, I am worse than a greedy squirrel.

  4. Anonymous: We are always happy to hear that a woman is willing to marry a pastor. (I know it can be intimidating!) You have an important role in the kingdom of God.
    Patsy (I am having technical difficulties with Blog spot and want you to know it is from me.)

  5. People. If it wasn't for people, the church would be perfect. :) Sometimes I tell myself, I must be one of those irritating people to someone. And then other times I better remember that Christ loves that irritating person; Christ died for that irritating sister/brother. Doesn't mean that I don't get weary, but it does help me fight through the weariness with a slightly better attitude.
    Thank you!
    Oh, and this takes on a level formerly unknown to me when in a different culture! Wow! I need lots of prayer!


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