Should I Poison My Dinner Guests?

Story of the Day for Thursday January 12, 2012

Should I Poison My Dinner Guests?

              Some people, coming from Judea, taught the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you can’t be saved.” This created sharp disagreement from Paul and Barnabas, and a big debate erupted.

                                                                     Acts 15:1-2

 Pack rats are smelly and can do more damage in my workshop than I can. So, they’ve got to go. Using rat poison, my devious scheme invites them to be my dinner guests.

Mona, our husky with a brain as big as a lima bean, shares my feelings about pack rats. But her strategy involves chasing them under wood piles and then standing guard over them for hours. Her policy of aggressive harassment scares away my clients.

Mona and I are bonded in a common quest: to get rid of pack rats and make this world a better place in which to live. But, though we are both committed to The Cause, we have conflicting strategies.


Christians aren’t supposed to fight, but, as believers, we are highly prone to butting heads, because we care so deeply about spiritual things.


Years ago, Capper’s Weekly reported about Joyce Grimm, from Lucas, Kansas. She was walking across a parking lot when she saw a driverless car. It was slowly rolling out of its parking space.

Joyce swiftly ran beside the car, swung the door open, and jumped in. She hit the brake and brought the rolling car to a halt. As she got out, a man in overalls approached her. She beamed with slightly suppressed pride and said, “Well, I stopped the car.”

The man in overalls said, “I know. I was pushing it.”

Both Joyce and the man in overalls had the same objective: to assist the owner of the vehicle. But, because they understood the situation differently, they found themselves working against each other.


Some well-meaning Christians in Antioch told new gentile converts that they needed to get circumcised, like Moses taught, in order to be saved. Paul and Barnabas sharply disagreed. Everyone had the same goal (that the gentiles find salvation) but they disagreed on how to get there.

This issue could easily have divided the church in her infancy. But they talked it out and got it right: both Jews and gentiles are saved solely by the grace of the Lord Jesus.

When we encounter conflict in the church, a good starting place is to find where we agree – where we share the same convictions . . . and work from our shared beliefs rather than our differences.


I believe that poisoning my dinner guests is still the way to go. And I still think my dog is a dingbat for trying to defeat pack rats by intimidation. But we will continue to discuss the issue with an open mind and monitor results. It’s what you do when you’re partner in The Cause.

                                                     (copyright by and by Marty Kaarre)