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Stop Them Before They Grow

I have a low tolerance for baby lizards in my home. As soon as I see one, I take my slippers and smash it immediately. You might ask, “Why be so aggressive?” It’s just a baby. It’s not like it’s a big lizard.

Well, baby lizards grow up to be big lizards, and if I do not stop it when it’s tiny, I won’t be able to do so when it’s grown. Baby lizards also signal that there’s a mother lizard around, so I’ve set a sugar trap for it. This is a “no lizard zone”.

When I consider my relationships, I’m reminded that there are negative actions that are displayed that can seem small and insignificant. For example, a hissed teeth response, a rolled eye, a shrugged shoulder or a cheeky comment. When these outward actions are ignored, the inner thoughts and feelings that led to the actions are not addressed. If they continue, but are ignored over a period of time, the true heart matters only brew under the surface. These “baby lizards” grow. I want to take the same aggressive approach to address “small things” as soon as I see them, in the same way I kill baby lizards.

One such real life example is found when I get offended when I’m corrected. My first response at times is to try and think of ways I can defend myself, before I consider what the other person is trying to explain. This outward action of defending myself (words) is signaling to me that there’s pride in my heart (inner thoughts and feelings). When offense is given room to grow, bitterness, resentment, egotistical feelings can begin to take root over time.

What have I started doing?

One solution is to use the Word of God to help me become more receptive to correction. I created this prayer, and I pray it over myself from time to time.

Let a righteous man strike me—that is a kindness; let him rebuke me—that is oil on my head.

My head will not refuse it (Psalm 141:5a).

Father, send righteous men and women in my life to strike, rebuke and correct me.

I declare that I will not be offended by correction and discipline.

Let oil be poured on my head in abundance so that I will grow in wisdom.

For it is better to for me to heed the rebuke of a wise person

than to listen to the song of fools (Ecclesiastes 7:5).

When I listen, I gain understanding (Proverbs 15:32).

When I listen, I dwell among the wise (Proverbs 15:31).

I thank You Lord that I shall receive honour when I heed correction.

Poverty and shame shall not come to me (Proverbs 13:18).

In Jesus’ name, amen.

How do I know it works?

I’ve been observing myself in my interactions with others. Two days in a row, a very intimate person corrected me, then the following day, someone in a professional setting corrected me. I’m not going to tell you that I responded exceptionally well, but it was much better than it used to be. It’s helping me to be more quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. The word of God, planted in my heart, has the power to save my soul (James 1:19, 21), so I will continue to use it to address these matters of the heart. It’s the “little things” that can ruin relationships. When we see them, let’s stop them before they grow.

Can you think about any “baby lizards” in your relationship that you need to kill?

Kerry-Ann McPherson

Project Manager and Managing Editor, VBD Magazine



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