I’m sure everyone has at least once in their life gotten a paper-cut. The edge of a piece of paper so quickly slits one of your fingers. The cut is so smooth and so subtle you can barely see it. But you can surely feel it. Often it doesn’t bleed; it just creates nagging, annoying discomfort. If it is on the end of a finger it makes keyboarding very unpleasant. How can something so small be so aggravating?

Ticks can be even worse. The tiny ticks that almost require a magnifying glass to see them are the worst. Often you don’t know they are there until it is too late and they have begun using you as a banquet table. Sometimes relationships are spoiled by little things. Others’ idiosyncrasies can so irritate, things like sucking one’s teeth, constant humming off-key, slamming car doors when you are still inside, not really listening and then asking you to repeat yourself, chewing a finger, putting their cold feet on you in the middle of the night, and on and on.

Life is full of irritants and we are not as innocent as we might think. We just don’t notice ours, but others do. They can be like tiny ants that steal away the joy of a picnic. Paul’s counsel to us basically is not to make a big deal out of others’ issues and to (if we can stand it) mind our own business. He wrote, “So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.” Romans 14:12. We cannot justifiably say, “But Lord, every time we stop for a traffic light, he picks his nose!”