I’m learning lessons from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. I think we can all relate to Grumpy. After all, we know what Grumpy looks and sounds like. None of us enjoy being around grumpy people and guess what – they don’t want to be around us when we are grumpy either. Just out of curiosity I looked “grumpy” up in the dictionary. Here are some of the definitions: bad tempered, short tempered, crotchety, testy, touchy, irritable, surly, disagreeable, snappish, cranky, ornery. WOW – I don’t want to be any of those things. They don’t sound like anyone I want to know and they certainly don’t sound like anyone I want to be. However, sometimes I just feel like I want to be grumpy. That doesn’t make sense I know but it’s true. Have you ever found yourself kind of feeling like you want to be grumpy? I can sometimes feel myself getting kind of grumpy inside and I don’t even know why. Have you been there? Are you there now? One of my temptations to grumpiness is when I look out the back of our house. We have lived here for about 5 years and had a beautiful field behind us. It was especially nice to look at when planted in winter wheat and the wind was blowing it. Oh, and one of the best things about this field is that we have enjoyed unobstructed sunset views. They are truly incredible. Well, recently the field was sold and now is in the hands of a developer. They have been moving dirt, hauling gravel, and beginning a new housing addition. Needless to say it has been a dirty, dusty mess! We can’t sit out on the back patio and now that the weather is cooler and we would love to open our windows, we can’t because that would only invite the dirt inside (and I don’t enjoy dusting)! In the scheme of things, that is a petty, small annoyance and not a big deal but I can make it a big deal easily if I allow myself.
Romans 12:18 “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”
There can be many reasons behind why we are grumpy. We might be hurting emotionally, we might be angry, in pain, frustrated, fearful, feeling unloved, you name it. Sometimes I think grumpy may be a defense mechanism so that people don’t get too close. However, just like with Grumpy and Snow White, eventually people usually respond to kindness. Grumpy did not want anything to do with Snow White at first. He gave a lot of negative talk, didn’t he? He knew that things would change in ways he didn’t think he wanted. Snow White continued to be kind and loving toward him though and eventually his cold and stony (grumpy) attitude changed.
Snow White had the attitude of Christ Jesus whose love for us does not depend upon what we do or say. He loves us so much He died for our sins, grumpy attitudes and all. Salvation is not by works (what we do or how we act), it is by grace. Then, after we receive His glorious grace, we do good works as a result of the love we have received from Him. It’s God in us that allows us to overcome those “grumpy” times and attitudes and instead live a life full of love and joy. In looking at Grumpy and Snow White, I’ve decided I want to be more like Snow White and err on the side of kindness. How about you?
Romans 15:13 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Lessons I learned from Grumpy: I control my own attitude. No one wants to be around me if/when I am grumpy and grumbling. Grumpy people need to be shown kindness. Our perspective is often blurred. I need to seek God and ask Him to help me see others through His eyes. People don’t always deserve grace – neither did I. I need to give it anyway. Grumpy can turn to Happy with love and kindness.
So…is there a “Grumpy” in your life? How will you react to this person? Will you extend kindness or be grumpy yourself? I would love to hear your stories. Just leave a comment.