This in itself is not all that out of the ordinary. What was out of the ordinary, though, was what they were fighting about.
They were arguing over politeness. I honestly didn’t know whether I should be proud or concerned. On the one hand, they were talking about how to be polite. On the other hand, they weren’t following the very rules they were discussing as they argued about it.
As near as I could tell, the argument began when Chloe said “Thank you” to Cole and expected him to say “You’re welcome” in return. Instead, he said “thank you,” too.
She informed Cole that was not the proper response, that he should say “you’re welcome” whenever someone said “thank you.” He took a moment to consider that, then said, “thank you.”
I had to smile. Here Chloe was, barely having learned the rules of politeness herself, and she was trying to teach those rules to Cole.
I tuned them out as they continued their discussion on etiquette, but was snapped back to their conversation a few minutes later when I heard Chloe say to her brother, with obvious frustration in her tone, “Shut your mouth!”
Hmm ... politeness lesson over, I guess?
How quickly their conversation changed. How quickly they went from one way of dealing with each other to another. It was like someone had flipped a switch, and their behavior changed from one type of response to another.
It reminds me of another drastic change that occurred in scripture. When Jesus made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem on what has come to be known as Palm Sunday, the crowd celebrated his arrival. They waved palm branches, lay them on the ground in front of him, and shouted, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord” (John 12:13)!
Yet within a week, those same people who cried “Hosanna!” were crying, “Crucify” (Matthew 27:22-23)! It was like someone had flipped a switch, and the people’s reaction to Jesus changed from one type of response to another.
What is your response to Jesus? Is it praise and adoration, like the people’s response to him on Palm Sunday? Or is it contempt and hatred like those same people who called for his death one week later?
Regardless of your response to him, his response to you is the same. He loves you. He died for you. He offers salvation to any and all who will accept him as savior.
Parrish Myers is a local minister. His column appears biweekly in Sunday Life and on gainesvilletimes.com/life.