Why Nit Picking Should Be Part of the Church

A touchy subject, introduced kindly. Why is it touchy? Wouldn’t most of us say we long for closer relationships within our church family? But the idea that someone might get close enough to notice a nit or two frightens us.


The following essay was written as an assignment for a college course I took. My teacher was disturbed by the analogy (as I expect you will be) but appreciated the essay.After having lice twice (I share one incident here.) and benefiting from the patient nit picking of others, I have begun to see it as a positive thing. When one of our pastors encouraged accountability the other Sunday, I decided to post this as an echo.

In Cambodia, women perch together in doorways.  One sits patiently watching the world go past, while the other pulls her fingers through the hair of the sitting woman, occasionally pulling on a shiny dark lock, nit-picking.  They are relaxed and enjoying each other.

Unfortunately, Western culture has distorted the helpfulness of nit-picking into a negative unloving act. What changed nit-picking to something negative? Perhaps one person, being too proud to admit…

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