Samuel Feldman is the world’s most famous bread vandal.
He did $8,000 worth of damage to bread and cookies throughout the Yardley, Pennsylvania, area. He was going around “squeezing, smashing and poking” bags of bread and packages of cookies. Finally, one store, suspecting Feldman, put him under surveillance and caught him three times in the act. He is charged with one count of criminal mischief. Three years of aggravation and loss, caused by an idle person with a mean streak.
There is always at least one bread-squeezer in any group. The church may even sometimes harbor a few bread-squeezers, too. These are the sore tails, nitpickers, storm clouds who live to rain on others’ parades, those who seem to enjoy causing friction and irritating others, those who hold petty grudges, and general pot-stirrers. They are the busybodies (2 Thessalonians 3:11; 1 Timothy 5:13). Solomon calls one a worthless and wicked person “who spreads strife” (Proverbs 6:14; cf. 19– “who spreads strife among brothers”). Paul laments lovers of controversy because they provoke “envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions, and constant friction” (1 Timothy 6:4-5).
These bread-squeezers flatten a congregation’s morale, squeeze the worst side out of others, and pick and poke at everyone from the church’s leaders to any other Christian whose name passes between their cross-hairs. They taint the productivity, good will, good deeds, attitude, and joy of a congregation. They brighten entire rooms just by making an exit.
Are you a bread-squeezer? How do you reply when asked, “How are you?” How well do you speak of other Christians? Are you moody? Do you lash out at others when you feel you have been wronged? Do you give the cold shoulder? Do you not speak to others, only to complain that others are unfriendly because they don’t approach you first? Do you wear your feelings on your sleeve? Are you the type that prefers the role of critic, since there are plenty of others to be the “cheerleader”? If so, then you are a bread-squeezer!
A bread-squeezer is as needed in a congregation as Feldman was needed in Yardley! He was entirely destructive and he caused others to pay for his bad habit. Barnabus wasn’t a bread-squeezer (Acts 4:36). Neither were Judas and Silas (Acts 15:32). Certainly, Jesus wasn’t! The church is always in need of more encouraging, uplifting, positive, happy, and contented members. Don’t squeeze the bread!