Petty means picking at the small things, usually having no lasting effects they are more annoyances. The definition of Petty is something of little importance; trivial.
Some examples. . .
So and so didn’t text me back.
A snarky or off color comment from a friend or co-worker,
A rude email.
A post you may not agree with on social media.
“Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth.” (2 Timothy 2:23-25 ESV)
How do we determine if they are petty?
Seek God first.
Use a trusted person or Godly counsel as a sounding board. Often times when we speak them out loud we can see if they are indeed petty.
Things to remember:
We all have or will fall victim to picking up petty battles, but learn from them and ask for forgiveness and don’t allow it to make you feel condemned.
Petty battles keep us distracted from what God is doing in our lives that is why the enemy uses this weapon so frequently; its effective, easy and hard to spot. “And do not give the devil a foothold.” (Ephesians 4:27 NIV) There is a military term called “petty warfare” and it is defined as, “a form of irregular warfare where small units use military tactics to wear down the enemy and ensure that main troops are in favorable conditions for decisive battles.” I believe that’s what the enemy does to us through petty battles; he wears us down little by little in turn making us less effective in the bigger and more significant battles.
Petty battles can lead to deterioration of and destruction in relationships, friendships, work and everyday life.
Petty battles steal your peace, joy and focus.
What can you do to guard yourself from fighting petty battles?
Decide ahead of time (as much as is possible) what you would deem as a petty battle or issue so when it does arise you are automatically aware and able to see if for what it is. Plan in advance what you will or won’t accept.
Pick your battles. “You don't have to show up to every argument you're invited to.”- Mandy Hale
Stay grounded in God. Petty battles become lesser and lesser when you are grounded in God, His word and His love.
Often creating or fighting petty battles is an alarm for a deeper issue. Petty usually comes from insecurity, fear and or bitterness. Dig deeper into what the root cause may be.
“What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel.” (James 4: 1-2 ESV)
Don't allow petty battles to sidetrack you off your God ordained and predestined course. Don’t fall into the trap of tiny offenses. Remember this; “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8 NIV)