Running a daycare is not easy. There are times when it is everything you fear it would be. Trust me, I know first hand. But, you come to expect certain behaviors from children. You anticipate that a two-year-old is going have a temper tantrum when asked to share a toy, or a four-year-old is going to break down into tears when she trips, or that a six year old is going to fly off the handle when he doesn’t get a second cookie. These things can be expected of young children. What’s not expected is when we see it in adults.
Before running a daycare, I spent seven years as a newspaper reporter for a small-town weekly in Dansville, NY. One of the routines of how a reporter gets his news is from attending public board meetings. I estimated having attended more than 800 board meetings in those seven years–and there’s a reason why they call them board–or bored meetings–because for the most part, they are boring. But, once in a while, they are worth going to: they’ll joke around a little and have some fun; or they’ll be productive, quick and efficient.
I remember a few times being at a board meeting in a certain nearby town, where the board members got along, and quite often there would be laughing and joking around. But right down the hallway was a village board meeting going on at the same time, which my editor attended, and from where I was sitting, we in the town board meeting could hear some shouts and arguing going on down the hallway. You don’t expect that from men who call themselves mayor, deputy mayor, trustee, fire chief, etc. You expect certain decorum. There was another town in which there was a very controversial matter that went on for two or three years. Some of the townspeople got so angry—sometimes vile, and the meetings got so volatile, that the board called for state police to start attending the meetings in fear of something violent happening.
I’ve seen a church fall apart because of what went on in the board room. This is nothing new. I’m sure your parents and grandparents can tell you stories of church splits or something of the like. In fact, if you look through church history, you’ll see issues within the churches have gone on for the past 2,000 years. Look at the early church.
When we think of the early church, we think of zeal, we think of the book of Acts—we think of miracles, fire, speaking in tongues, 3,000 people coming to Christ in one meeting, we think of fervor—we rarely think of the dysfunction that went on. I mean, the church was brand new; there was a lot of disorder in the early churches. And poor guys like Paul and Peter had to deal with it all the time. You can just see them smacking their forehead as they wrote the letters of the New Testament. Like, ‘why do I have to put up with this?’
Over the next few weeks, we’ll take a closer look at how Paul addresses this issue with the Corinthian church. Here, the Corinthian church was quarreling over which spiritual gift was the best. Paul took the high road on this one. He practiced what he preached. Let’s take a look:
1 Corinthians 13 New International Version (NIV)
13 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
More on this in weeks to come.