On March 6, 1899, Bayer was able to patent aspirin. It isn't a package of powdered willow bark or spirea, but actual tablets, which did not appear until after the turn of the twentieth century. And over the years, chemists have learned various ways to "buffer" its effects on the stomach. They have also learned new uses for it. A "heart attack aspirin" is only steps away in my home and maybe in yours as well. But I do not use it for my various eye maladies and I doubt it has ever been used for serious illnesses such as leukemia or ALS. It may have been labeled a "wonder drug" but it doesn't fix everything.
The other morning I noticed Chloe’s left ear sagging to the side. No matter what was going on or how excited she was, that ear would not stand up as it normally did, over half as tall as her head in the manner of all Australian cattle dogs’ ears. She reminded me of the antenna that sat on top of our television when I was a child, one leg of it straight up in the air, and the other at nearly ninety degrees.
Then she started scratching at it and shaking her head and I knew—ear mites. So we searched through the cabinet until we found the white squeeze bottle of ear mite treatment. We had never used it on her so she came willingly, even when she saw us with the bottle. In fact, we had not used it in so long that it took a while to get any out of the bottle, and then when it came, it came with a rush, completely filling her ear canal. We held her long and massaged it in, but it was still too much. As soon as we let go she shook her head and slung a big glop of it right into my eye.
Canine ear mite medicine is not made for human eyeballs. I rushed inside half blinded and flushed my eye for several minutes, then used up several vials of saline completely clearing the stuff out of my burning eye. I think the contact lens helped shield it, or it might have been much worse.
Some things don’t need medicating, especially with the wrong medicine, and some things we think need our ministrations just need to be left alone.
John said unto him, Teacher, we saw one casting out demons in your name; and we forbade him, because he followed not us. But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man who shall do a mighty work in my name, and be able quickly to speak evil of me. For he that is not against us is for us, Mark 9:38-40.
Many times we disagree with a brother about a subject that makes no difference at all in our ability to worship together. Many times we disagree with each other about things that seem fairly important, but we can still sit on the same pew and worship our God in complete harmony. The disharmony is caused only when we make something out of it. As long as your beliefs do not hinder me from mine, where is the problem? As long as I do not force mine on you as a condition of fellowship when it shouldn’t be, why can’t we get along? You say you see something you believe might lead to a problem? As long as it isn’t one, don’t force the issue. Don’t deliberately do something that will bring discord into the family of God and call it “fighting for the truth,” when it is only wrangling about words or, at its heart, bickering about power.
Sometimes we need to remember the Lord’s reply to his overzealous disciples: “He that is not against us is for us.” And we especially need to remember his absolute loathing of anything and anyone who disrupts the unity of his body. Paul tells us in Ephesians 2 that Christ came to create unity, and that we are “one new man,” “one body,” “fellow citizens,” and “a family.” Why did he do that? So that we might “grow into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built together for a habitation of God.” The God of peace cannot dwell in a temple that is not at peace. We destroy the mission of Christ when we make it so.
Be careful about diagnosing others’ beliefs. Be careful about making things matters of spiritual life and death, when they are simply non-life-threatening “bugs.” Maybe by our sitting together every Sunday, studying together with respect for one another instead of accusations, we can come even closer to agreement on those very bugs, and they will run their course and disappear.
One man esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each man be fully assured in his own mind…Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; for it is written, "As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God." So then each of us will give an account of himself to God, Rom 14:5, 10-12.