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  • Writer's pictureDeborah

Squeaky Wheel


Philippians 2:14-16 ESV

John 13:35 ESV

A squeaky wheel gets the grease

We’ve all known someone in our life who is a repeat offender squeaky wheel. 

I was a Pastor’s wife for 30 years. For some reason there were always people in the congregation who didn’t want to complain to the Pastor, so they brought their complaints to me. 

Part of my study of Communication taught active listening. I tried to listen well and do what I could do to trouble shoot a problem. My last eighteen years in the workforce was spent listening and de-escalating problems. I worked for a very large corporation and on any given day I was focused on at least twenty people. 

When I first started I would take at least 80 calls a day, but the issues were easier to resolve. By the time I’d worked there for 15 years I was taking fewer calls but it wasn’t because they were easier. It’s because the issues were much more complex. 

After several years I came to know who the squeaky wheels were and how to help them.

At the same time I was on staff at a local church and I helped with a large team. They were my ministry. 

I came to a point where I realized the customers I helped at work weren’t really that different than the people I helped at church. The subject matter was different, but their basic needs were the same. 

Both groups had a problem and they needed help in solving a problem.

Philippians 2:14-16 tells us, “Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.” 

I think Paul was telling the folks in the early church not to focus on their problem; focus instead on a solution. 

From a practical standpoint I learned that when I focused on the problem it tended to grow and even fester, but when I focused on the solution that took care of the problem.

When Paul wrote to the church at Philippi he knew if they would focus on God’s word and shine the light of Jesus on the solution, their labor would not be in vain. 

Even when I was solving problems at work the light of Jesus was shining. 

We really aren’t able to hide that light even when others might want us to hide it. The light of Jesus shines bright. 

That’s truth.

Do you remember the light song? It’s been part of my repertoire for a very long time. I’ve taught it in children’s choir and at Vacation Bible School. Children everywhere loved it, especially when we added hand motions signifying the light. 

The version I learned went like this:

“This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. 

Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

Hide under a bushel, NO, I’m gonna let it shine. 

Hide it under a bushel, NO, I’m gonna let it shine.

Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.”

The original song written in the early 20th Century by Harry Dixon Loes was a little different than the one I learned in the mid 1970’s, but the idea was the same. 

When we receive Jesus, His light shines IN us and it does shine.

We cannot hide it even when we hide it under a bushel. That’s because even from the back of the bushel, it shines brightly. 

We do not have to turn on the light…God in us turned on the light. 

Holy God in us shines bright. 

Wherever we go, it shines. When we are at work, it shines. We do not even have to say it shines. 

It just shines. 

By the power of Almighty God in us, it SHINES!

Jesus even told His disciples “by this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35)

Your light will shine because of the love of the Son of God. 

You will be known by your love…by love.

Love the wheel that doesn’t squeak and love the squeaky wheel. Just love. 

Spiritual Practice: Love

Love is an action word. Go and love. 

In God, Deborah


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