Do you have “pet peeves?” Yeah, me too. For example, toothpaste should be pressed from the bottom of the tube, not the middle; we’ve known that since the Stone Age, right? And don’t open a new bottle of soda if there’s one already open. I’m certain that if I didn’t come along and finish those bottles, we’d be overrun with soda bottles containing two inches of liquid. C’mon people, there’s still syrupy goodness in those plastic pots of gold.
My family will tell you that those soda bottles are a source of one of their pet peeves as well. I have a habit of squeezing the bottle in the middle when I pick it up to pour. Puny soda bottles – Hulk smash! It’s still in a squeezed state when I put the cap back on. After some time passes, the carbonation will build up in the bottle and the pop bottle will…pop! It makes everyone jump a little, which apparently only amuses me. I guess I should work on that.
On a professional level, I have some pet peeves as well, but none are so annoying than not replying to an email. Since writing is a personal hobby, I usually spend more time than your average bear making sure they are “perfect.” When I finally send the finished product, it would be nice to get the requested information in return. But it seems there are some people (and you know who you are) that don’t feel a reply is needed. As a project manager, I need people’s input to keep my projects moving forward. When I don’t get that guidance, I’m stuck. Don’t leave me hangin’, bro!
As a result, I sometimes resort to a different tactic. If I need a group of people to approve a course of action and I know there are notorious “non-repliers” on the distribution list, I’ll add the following sentence at the bottom, bolded and underlined:
No response will be interpreted as approval.
The “silence indicates approval” method can be risky since I don’t have actual confirmation from the decision maker. I wonder how many of us employ this method with our spiritual lives. I know that there are sins in my life that don’t appear to have any negative consequences. As a result, I can fall into the following line of thinking:
Whew, looks like I got away with that. I guess God doesn’t think it’s all that bad.
The Lord makes it clear that silence does NOT indicate approval in Psalm 50:16-21. After listing various deeds of the wicked, the Lord says “When you did these things and I kept silent, you thought I was exactly like you. But now I arraign you and set my accusations before you.” The Lord may delay the consequences of sin, but that doesn’t mean they are tolerated. I’m going to make an effort to work on the soda bottle issue, but I also need to remember that the Lord has “pet peeves” that deserve even more attention.