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Stuck in Your Craw

What is stuck in your craw? Is there something or someone that has done something that you are finding “hard to swallow”? Is there something you just can’t let go of? 

Hardly a day goes by that someone, somewhere isn’t offended, bothered or upset about something somebody has said or done. 

The truth is, people are offensive and insensitive. They are simply so focused on themselves that they don’t pay attention to how their actions have an effect on others. It may be very obvious to you but many times, people are just clueless. Granted, some people are just flat out evil and mean and know very well what they are up to, but many times people are like dodo birds, when it comes to recognizing their wrongs, they simply don’t exist.

So, what are we to do when we have something stuck in our craw? It seems we have at least three options. 1. We can ignore the issue and it will slowly kill us from the inside out. 2. We can return fire and destroy relationships. 3. We can make the dodo aware of their shortsightedness.

Scripture is full of great examples of people who loved each other and tried to work out their differences. Sometimes they succeeded and other times things only got worse. When things got better there was one thing in common. They communicated and were honest with each other.

In Genesis 21, Abimelech says to Abraham, “This is the first I’ve heard of it.” Sound familiar? Abimelech was clueless about a problem he was causing Abraham. Thank goodness Abraham brought it to his attention.

Abraham could have practiced I Peter 4:8, which basically says love overlooks an offense. This can work at times but there was only one problem for Abraham, what Abimelech had done, stuck in Abraham’s craw! He could have let it fester and it would have eventually destroyed his friendship but because he cared, he chose to confront. 

He was honest with himself. He probably tried to look the other way but every time the issue came up it just cut off more oxygen in the relationship. Ultimately, Abraham put Matthew 18:15 into practice, which encourages us to go to a friend privately and point out how they are choking the life out of our relationship. Not always, but more times than not, they will apologize, change their ways and thank you for helping them work through a blind spot.

Romans 12:18 encourages us to do all we can to be a peace with everyone. Sometimes that means we have to clear our throats and get that bad taste out of our mouths. When something is stuck in your craw, you have to dislodge it. Otherwise, it will literally kill you.

Are you experiencing a lump in your throat? Is something stuck in your craw? Give some thought to how you might release what is blocking peace in your life. Ask the Lord for wisdom on how to handle the offense that has taken place. He may grant you peace as you let go and overlook as a gracious act of love. But if you can’t, there is a good probability the person that has done you wrong has no clue and will welcome the messy conversation that leads to a lasting and deeply committed relationship, when you cough up the junk that is holding you back.

Here is a little additional fun information about the origin of “stuck in your craw” from the “Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins” by Robert Hendrickson (Facts on File, New York, 1997). Beware of the stone!  

“When you can’t swallow something, when it won’t go down, or you are loath to accept it, it sticks in your craw. The craw is the crop or preliminary stomach of a fowl, where food is predigested. Hunters centuries ago noticed that some birds swallowed bits of stone that were too large to pass through the craw and into the digestive tract. These stones, unlike the sand and pebbles needed by birds to help grind food in the pouch, literally stuck in the craw, couldn’t go down any farther. This oddity became part of the language of hunters and the phrase was soon used figuratively.”



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