Romans 12:18 “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”
While waiting for my flight to board, the couple sitting next to me at the airport caught my attention. They had in hand a recent purchase from Starbucks. A Caramel Macchiato? Skinny Peppermint Mocha? Eggnog Latte? Nope. It was none of these. I heard them refer to it as a Puppuchino as they lovingly let their dog lick up the whipped cream from the hand-crafted treat.
Now I love our little dog, Beau, but clearly my perspective of four-footed creatures differed from theirs…and theirs from the next dog family to enter the gate. Imagine an exquisitely groomed white French poodle, complete with pink bow and jewel-studded leash prancing by. She leads her proud owners who trail behind pulling two poodle-printed carry-ons. It wouldn’t have been quite so funny had I not heard the Puppuchino lady remark, “Well, that’s over the top!”
One person’s over-the-top is another’s normal.
It amazes me how different people can look at the same situation and come up with diametrically opposed views. Sometimes, we can laugh off the differences; other times we let preconceived notions cement differences into divisiveness.
A famous quote from early Christian history states, “in essentials, unity; in doubtful matters, liberty; in all things, charity.” The world could sure use a little charity these days, couldn’t it? This doesn’t mean giving sin a pass. We recognize sin for what it is. But as the late Francis Schaeffer said, “We should always confront sin with a tear in our eye.” A tear of charity goes a long way in clearing up our vision.
And what about those “nonessentials?” The truth is, we usually don’t know why people see life the way they do. But in a culture marked with increased negativity we have the opportunity to shine a brighter light. As we choose to live our own lives to full capacity we can dare to let others do the same.
I don’t think I’ll be getting Beau a Puppuchino any time soon. And I’m sure I won’t be getting him a fancy doggie carry-on. But if you do…that’s fine with me. It’s all how you look at things.
And there’s no better way to look at things than with charity.