Friend to Friend
My friend Ellen is a preschool
teacher who regularly contends with entitled toddlers and privileged
preschoolers who know how to major on some minors and throw down some serious
I want the red crayon, but Tommy has it!
I’m not eating
this because it has white cheese. I only like yellow cheese.
want to go first!
I’m allowed. You’re not my boss.
Miss Ellen calls these little escapades “princess problems,” and she does her
best to lovingly redirect the heart of each young complainer toward the reality
of his or her blessings and toward the virtue of patience, selflessness,
kindness, sharing, etc..
Hardly a day goes by that the kingdom of her kiddie classroom isn’t inundated
with princess problems. The outbursts are common. Most are simple issues to
address, but occasionally they can become a minefield of messy mayhem that
disrupts a special moment.
As I reflect on this, it occurs to me that even though I’m adult I’ve got my
own fair share of princess problems. At times I throw myself in a tizzy and
worry about things that don't need to be given a second thought. I make a big
deal out of situations that do not have eternal consequences just because I
might be temporarily inconvenienced or offended.
I can’t believe I have to go to the grocery store again. This is the
third time this week!
It took them over an hour to change the oil in my car today. Over an
The pastor’s sermon was way too long and the music was loud.
In the Old Testament, Daniel could’ve complained about his problems. But he
didn’t. Not even as he faced impending death when he was thrown in a den of
lions. Instead, he remained devoted to God and honored the Lord while humbly
serving the king who brutally destroyed his hometown and took he, and his
friends, captive to Babylon.
In the New Testament, the apostle Paul endured extreme hardships during his
missionary journeys. He was attacked by murderous mobs, beaten, betrayed,
flogged, arrested, starved, shipwrecked three times, and bitten by a viper… all
while serving God! Nice, right? Though he had every earthly reason to whine
about the stuff he went through, Paul didn’t. To the contrary, he wrote a letter
about joy and perseverance to encourage the believers in the church of Philippi
from prison. He encouraged others instead of griping about the mess he’d been
through, and in spite of the limitations he was constrained by.
Yes. I am a daughter of the Most High, King of kings. A noble princess in
God’s kingdom with an endless and enchanting inheritance. I am not, however,
entitled to grumble and complain about pithy and petty little annoyances. Not
even about big things!
Princess problems don’t fly with God. There’s no loophole.
Paul wrote about this very thing in that letter he sent to the
Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you
may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and
crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the
sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. (Philippians 2:14-16a)
Imagine what our loved ones and co-workers would think if you and I actually
live these verses out. If we stop complaining. If we choose to be blameless and
pure worshipers who trust God’s sovereignty in the inconvenient, uncomfortable,
and even the worst of times.
What would it look like for you and I to hold firmly to the word of life … to
sparkle instead of spew?
Let’s make a deal. You and me. The next time we get shipwrecked in our own
imaginations and begin to drown in the petty dramas of our own making, let’s
straighten our crooked tiaras and ask God to adjust our crooked attitudes. In
doing so we’ll move forward in the strength, dignity, and joy of Jesus.
In His grace, Jesus quiets our princess problems and purifies us to shine
like stars in the sky for the glory of God.
Holy Father, Please forgive me for the
times I get flustered and freaked out over things that don't matter. Forgive me,
also, when I fail to trust You with heavy and hard trials. I want to be a woman
who lives with the strength, joy, and dignity of Jesus. Help me shine for You
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Read Philippians 4:1-9. Take note
of the peace available to believers who exercise faith and choose to think and
behave as we are instructed to think and behave.
Pray about specific stresses in your heart that might be knocking your tiara
More from the Girlfriends
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