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Spittin' Out Peas: When the Question is Control

Sometimes people won't swallow an idea because they don't like the taste of it. But often there's another issue.

A child psychologist was on television talking about why little children spit out their peas or dump over their Cream of Wheat.

"Sometimes the issue is that they really don't like the taste of peas," she said, "and sometimes it doesn't have anything to do with peas at all. Sometimes it is a matter of the child asserting his or her independence. Children become frustrated with doing what mother tells them to do, and they want a way to express their autonomy. If mothers can understand that," she said, "then they can respond to the real issue and better help their children."

As I listened, I thought about our church's struggle over whether to renovate the sanctuary, build a new one, or move to a new location, and I suddenly understood that some of the struggle wasn't over building or location at all, but over the issue of control.

What a Control Issue Looks Like

One time I was introduced to a control issue after an excellent Christmas program by our children's choir. An angry elder faced me. ...

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