A bone to pick at…

When we have an issue or problem with another, have you ever noticed how much easier it is to go to anyone but that person?  We can so easily turn each other into table talk as we pour another cup of coffee and dissect each other’s issues, all while leaving the person at the center out of the whole thing.

While this is an area I prefer to keep at a wide berth today, I know every single one of us has been guilty of having these conversations at one time or another.

“He drives me crazy!”

“She is such a drama queen. It is pathetic!”

“I don’t believe him. I don’t believe a word he says.”

“She just wants attention again. What a train wreck.”

“She is ridiculous! Did you see what she posted on Facebook?”

“He is such a loser. What does she even see in him?”

“I cannot stand that guy! Ugh!”

“She is such a liar!  Don’t even get me started.”

“She is crazy.  What do you expect?”

There are those who are very proud of all the bones they pick and they enjoy inviting people to join them.  I have known people who will be your best friend while in the midst of table talk, yet turn on you the moment they are at the table having coffee with someone else.  When we invite others to join us in judging another as we pick at their bones, we are participating in an activity with heavy spiritual ramifications, whether we are aware of it or not.

The whispers, the nudges, the exclamations, the silent treatments, the eye rolls, the side-eyes, and the accusations all lead to one thing; division.  The ‘behind the back’ behavior does and will cause division and hurt, even if the effects are not immediately noticeable. There are also those times we march right up to someone and boldly just start picking a bone, without giving pause to consider what we’re saying or doing.

It happens in families, it happens between friends, it happens at church, and it happens in the work environment.  Everyone has something to say about someone else and bones to pick at.

We even have a lot to say about ourselves and to ourselves.  Some might feel a little too secure in their own ego, while a lot of us are picking at our own bones relentlessly with an attitude of cruelty.  Whether we are picking the bones of another or ourselves, it reminds me of the behavior of vultures.

Bone-picking is, at its root, hateful and a source of spiritual death.  What comes out of our mouths says volumes about what is happening in our hearts, in those places others cannot see.  But, God sees it and He is definitely paying attention to it.

Jeremiah 17:10

“I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.”

That verse puts the fear of God into my heart like no other verse in the Bible can.  That one, simple verse has me examining my own heart and mind on a daily basis.  I don’t always like what I come up with, either.  I dig up attitudes that need to change.  I see curse words that have made a comfortable place on my tongue so they can slip out before I have a chance to stop them.  I see mindsets that are not calibrated and set on love, old resentments lingering, and hurts I was supposed to have forgiven.  I even come across attitudes toward God that need to be readjusted.

I had an incident earlier this week where I responded to something with a lengthy dissertation and sent myself on a crazy, wild-goose chase about my own unresolved issues, personal triggers, and where I actually stand with some things.  I acted like a vulture and picked at myself relentlessly.  Next time, I may err on the side of caution a bit better and just back away slowly as I invite God to examine my mind and my heart first.

I have picked at so many bones in my lifetime, I have a pile of dead, dry bones just sitting there and it is a dismal sight.  And, my own bones have been picked at and picked on enough.  I am tired of the vultures circling overheard, just waiting for a fresh bone to gnaw on.

I began to pray about the valley of dry bones in my life; the old grudges, the hurts, the judgments, the unkind words, the unresolved issues, and all of the bad attitudes.  

It reminds me of Ezekiel 37:4-5:

Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. “

How many times have we wished we could take back something we’ve said or undo something we’ve done?  How often have we wished that certain things had not happened to us or that we could just erase the impact those things have had?

Personally, I would rejoice to see all of those old bones come back to life.  Our God is a God of redemption so, while what happened yesterday isn’t going to magically disappear, what happens from here on out can be something brand-new.

30 thoughts on “A bone to pick at…”

  1. JD, thank you for sharing how the Lord has worked in your heart. Your Jeremiah reference is similar to Proverbs 20:27, which stopped me in my tracks, and the reminder is a continual source to curtail my thoughts, my words and my actions.
    “The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord, searching all the inward parts of the belly.”
    The writer of Hebrews (4:12) reminds us that God’s Word is alive and powerful, “a discerner of the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
    The blessing of these truths is that in creating us He knows how to reach us, to convict us, to redeem us, to change us, to keep us and use us for His glory and our joy. The Lord bless you as you continue to witness of His grace in your heart and life. ~ Fran

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I think I probably do this because I don’t expect direct confrontation to fix anything. I just have a pessimism that it will make things worse. That’s probably not truthful, though – I suspect God would be happy to help sort through a great many personal divisions if we just consulted him and asked his guidance. (which makes me wonder where the pessimism comes from…)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It can be difficult, but the very best way to handle personal divisions is prayer first and foremost. Most of us, however, save that part for last – after we’ve gone and made a mess! 😀

      And, some of us are prone to a melancholic outlook due to personality. God can use those personality traits for our good if we allow Him, which is an area I am working through these days. I say that as a melancholic, prone to pessimism, and as my own worst enemy and critic! 😉


  3. Hi sis, thank you!
    I am traveling up to be with family for my brothers graduation and my uncles funeral right now. One thing that has been playing in my mind/spirit is that my family has a history of backbiting, or “Gossip”. Perfect timing, because I was asking myself, how can I handle conversations with gossip? As I have grown closer to God this year, gossip is one thing God has shown me that I had to stop doing and it certainly is not good for the spirit. It separates and causes confusion. I am praying that God would strengthen me, when I am with my family. I have already played in my mind how I will handle the situation, which is to simply remove myself from those conversations. I want to Love and much as I can, when I am with my family.
    http://bible.com/1/mat.7.1-5.kjv Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

    These are some of things that God doesn’t like, or comes from a reprobate mind.
    http://bible.com/1/rom.1.30.kjv Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is so not good for the spirit and many families encounter division and estrangement because of this issue. I have gotten bolder in speaking up, removing myself from conversations, and watching my own mouth. Other times, I start saying nice things about the person being torn down. You’d be surprised how quickly a conversation stops when you praise the person someone wants to rip apart. 😀

      I thought of this verse for you as you prepare to go fellowship with family: Deuteronomy 31:8 – The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

      May God bless your trip and give you save travels! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Very well written…and very honest! I think we all need to examine our hearts, for as we judge others, so shall we be judged. We should not be critical of others, but instead we should find ways to be encouraging and build up people so far as we are able to. This is how we are different from the world…


    Liked by 1 person

      1. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone…(Col.4:6).

        You bet if you keep this in mind it will slow your tongue down! Good comment… Steve


  5. Such a graceful writing…what gets brains wired is when somebody has that kind of behavior and even don’t know why? other times…it’s become the habit of some people whom you don’t expect to change…I really don’t understand them….no matter how hard you try to resolve the problem…the person don’t want to resolve it..And sometimes it’s beyond the limit…the hatred that other person has for you finally starts grappling us…as equal and opposite reaction…You want to love like CHrist…but then later you know we are not CHRIST…and not perfect..It reminds of Joseph and his 11 brothers, Cain and Abel, Caleb and discouraging spies….the challenge is to be like Joseph, Abel and Caleb…We remember Moses who could not control himself due to such troubling Israelites…some times people are like trap..their behaviors are expression of that old unchanged demonic traits…if they don’t read bible frequently and pray…i doubt they are going to act devil in our lives..Remember King Saul who always wanted to kill David…no matter how many times you prove that you have no intention to hurt them, they feel insecure with the voice of devil speaking lies into their ears…it’s no wonder Saul was tormented by evil spirit

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Such wonderful examples of character. And, no, we don’t always know why someone has such an issue with us. It is beyond us to resolve it if they don’t come to us to resolve it. That is where ‘wiping the dust’, praying for our enemies, and loving them comes in. The Greek word for enemy describes an enemy as ‘driven by irreconcilable, deep-rooted enmity’, which is hostility of some form. So, anyone who harbors a grudge or any type of hostility against us is the person we need to cover in prayer and love. When it involves family and friends, it hurts.

      And, wonderful portrayal of demonic versus the things of God. People consider the word ‘demonic’ to be one of those taboo words these days, but the meaning of that word in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew refers to a spiritual realm outside of God’s covenant quite simply. It is not a scary word at all and we really should be taking it into consideration more often without going to some sort of extreme with it. I enjoyed your comment! Thank you for sharing your input! 🙂


    1. Thank you for reading and commenting. I am glad you did, because I have been looking for you in my reader. I don’t know why it is so easy to lose track of others in my reader, but I think it is a WP thing. I’ve been going on searches to find people I have missed! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  6. What a great message! But it is true that when someone has hurt us, wronged us (or something along those lines), for example, they seem to be the last person we want to let know about it! Now, if “I” did anything to hurt someone, and I had no idea that I had, how HURT WOULD I BE that the person never gave me either an opportunity to correct it, apologize for it or simply tell them how misunderstood my intent had been?! No matter how hard, we MUST give the other person the opportunity to fix a perceived wrong, never taking the issue to another soul unless the individual that was hurt by you won’t listen and you truly are seeking advice to fix the situation.

    Just as easily as we can gossip to others about these precised wrongs it seems even easier to join in while others complain about people as well. UGH! 🙂

    Good grief, being human sure can stink at times! LOLOL! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Been there myself! Usually it’s me responding poorly to someone without having the wisdom to rethink the content of my words or the way I said it. It just exposes how much of myself I have yet to be redeemed in the Spirit’s work in my life. Good post!

    Liked by 1 person

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