I do not normally blog forwarded emails, but this one really got me thinking about the vitality of acceptance and understanding in authentic, Christ-centered small groups. If we don’t love others unconditionally, we don’t really love them at all.

When I was a kid, my Mom liked to make breakfast food for dinner every now and then. And I remember one night in particular when she had made breakfast after a long, hard day at work . On that evening so long ago, my Mom placed a plate of eggs, sausage and extremely burned biscuits in front of my dad.

I remember waiting to see if anyone noticed! Yet all my dad did was reach for his biscuit, smile at my Mom and ask me how my day was at school. I don’t remember what I told him that night, but I do remember watching him smear butter and jelly on that ugly burned biscuit. He ate every bite of that thing…. never made a face nor uttered a word about it!

When I got up from the table that evening, I remember hearing my Mom apologize to my dad for burning the biscuits. And I’ll never forget what he said: “Honey, I love burned biscuits every now and then.”

Later that night, I went to kiss Daddy good night and I asked him if he really liked his biscuits burned. He wrapped me in his arms and said, “Your Momma put in a hard day at work today and she’s real tired. And besides – a little burned biscuit never hurt anyone!”

As I’ve grown older, I’ve thought about that many times. Life is full of imperfect things and imperfect people. I’m not the best at hardly anything, and I forget birthdays and anniversaries just like everyone else. But what I’ve learned over the years is that learning to accept each other’s faults
and choosing to celebrate each others differences – is one of the most important keys to creating a healthy, growing, and lasting relationship.

And that’s my prayer for you today… that you will learn to take the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of your life and lay them at the feet of God. Because in the end, He’s the only One who will be able to give you a relationship where a burnt biscuit isn’t a deal-breaker!

We could extend this to any relationship. In fact, understanding is the base of any relationship, be it a husband-wife or parent-child or friendship!

“Don’t put the key to your happiness in someone else’s pocket – keep it in your own.”

So, please pass me a biscuit, and yes, the burned one will do just fine.

How does this apply in your small group?
 

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Michael Mack has been involved in small group ministry as a pastor, writer, trainer, and speaker for more than 25 years. He founded SmallGroups.com in 1995 and started Small Group Leadership in 2012. He became the 12th editor of Christian Standard magazine in 2017 and continues to speak in churches about small groups, discipleship, and leadership. He lives in Pewee Valley, Kentucky (just outside Louisville), with his wife Heidi. They have four young adult children. Michael enjoys mountain and road biking with a group of friends. See the "About Michael Mack" page under About Us for more about him.

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