Stephen Myers introduced me to the word one evening during a Q & A Connection service. He used the word “curmudgeon” in one of his answers. I asked for a definition. Off the cuff, he mentioned something about a person who was very difficult to get along with. When I looked at the definition in the dictionary, I found his answer to be precise, but incomplete.
“A bad tempered, difficult, cantankerous person. A grouch, crank, bear. Disagreeable to deal with.”
I hope to live my life without ever being labeled as a “curmudgeon.” That does not mean that I will never take a stand for anything. That does not mean that I will never raise my voice or roll my eyes. That means I never want to develop a pattern of behavior that causes people to turn the other way when they see me in public. I don’t want to become that guy who consistently belittles and complains and gripes.
Paul warned Timothy about Alexander, the coppersmith. He had done great harm to Paul, and Paul anticipated he would treat Timothy the same way. Alexander, the coppersmith, had strongly opposed Paul’s message. Maybe he was not an atheist but a “curmudgeon.” Paul was near death. II Timothy was the last letter he wrote. Through life he had learned to avoid some people rather than confront them. Paul feared no man, but he realized that the juice was not worth the squeeze in dealing with some people. Stumps cannot always be removed. Sometimes they need to be plowed around.
We all have the potential to become “curmudgeons.” Through a relationship with Christ, we should become easier to deal with. No Christian should ever treat other people in a hateful manner. It grieves the heart of God when Christians become “curmudgeons.”
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”