by Terri Clark @TerriClarkTCM
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32 NIV
Every single morning, he stood right outside my window at precisely 5:40 a.m. and crowed—loudly. Uganda, situated on the equator, where the sun always rises at 6:00 a.m., provides consistency for roosters. For the better part of my stay, at the first hint of daylight, this annoying bird sounded the alarm. The only break from this strutting rooster’s morning routine were the days we were away on mission.
After returning to the U.S., I almost missed him—but not really. I still got to hear him occasionally though, because my friend and host, Monique, planned our phone conversations to discuss ministry when it was late at night here, but early in Uganda, just about rooster crowing time.
On one of our conversations, something seemed off. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it until I realized I hadn’t heard the rooster crowing in the background. Distracted, I just had to ask. “Monique, where is the rooster? I don’t hear him.”
She simply replied, “I don’t have a rooster.”
Confused, I laughed and said, “What do you mean? Of course, you do! He woke me up every morning like an alarm clock.” We went back and forth about it a few times, with her Insisting she didn’t have a rooster, until I finally pressed her, “What happened to him, Monique?”
And in her lovely East African accent, she replied simply, “He was disturbing me, so I ate him.”
Thinking back on that conversation, I can’t help but chuckle at my friend’s solution to an annoying problem. But it also makes me think about how we deal with our own crowing roosters—and I’m not talking about the feathered variety.
Most of us have at least one person strutting around disturbing our peace. We might not serve them up on our dinner table like Monique, but we can be just as biting in our responses. In the blink of an eye, we can verbally chew someone up, spit them out and then find a way to justify it by pointing to their incessant crowing.
But God has a better way for us to deal our roosters, especially if we want to live a life that glorifies our God. It’s found in the Bible: “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:31-32 NIV).
This sounds like an easy answer—“Just be kind”. But when you have someone crowing in your ear, it’s a lot easier said than done.
The verse just before the one I quoted says: “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, in whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” God knows it’s hard, but when we hold anger, bitterness and malice in our hearts, especially after we have been forgiven of similar things (and even worse), it grieves the Holy Spirit.
Today, when your peace is disturbed by that crowing rooster, instead of serving him/her up for dinner, take a moment, remind yourself of the price that was paid for you. Don’t grieve the Holy Spirit. Instead, look for a way to respond with kindness and forgive.
About the author: Terri Clark works with women to prepare and equip them to receive God and the blessings He wants to produce in their lives. She began to answer God’s call on her life in 1994 and has since impacted women all over the world with His news of salvation, edification, and healing.
Her book, Fanning the Flame: Reigniting Your Faith in God, identifies and addresses the issues which most affect a believer’s spiritual flame: the busyness of life, Christian service, pride, and worldly temptations. Join her in this pilgrimage and reignite your spiritual lamp with a fresh, empowering faith–a faith that will stand through a time of testing.
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