I enjoy watching The Dick Van Dyke Show, and my favorite episode is “The Curious Thing About Women” because it reveals a truth about our human nature in a humorous way.
One morning, Rob and Laura Petrie have a tiff. Laura’s habit of opening and reading Rob’s mail then relaying the contents to him frustrates Rob. He wants to open and read it himself. After his protest, Laura agrees to stop snooping.
Rob, a television writer, tells the other writers at work about his argument with Laura, and her mail-opening practice becomes the subject of a television skit. When the skit airs, Laura’s alter ego can’t contain her curiosity over a parcel that arrives for her husband. Crazed, she rips it open with her teeth only to discover it is a self-inflating raft that explodes out of the box.
At the conclusion of the skit, Rob and Laura’s friends call to tease her because they recognize her nosiness inspired it. Laura is offended and insists she’d never act like that. A few days later a box for Rob arrives. Laura gnaws it open with her teeth, and her behavior is exposed when the raft inside inflates.
Laura’s antics provide us with a warning: If we fail to understand our personal weaknesses, we may fall into sin.
Laura’s friends identified her as the skit subject because they knew she was a curious person whose snooping brought trouble. Others see our weaknesses more clearly than we see our own, so it is crucial to surround ourselves with Christian friends. Proverbs 27:6 reminds us, “Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.” Though the genuine criticism of friends may hurt, we can benefit from it unlike the insincere platitudes we may hear from those who don’t care about us.
Asking God to reveal our flaws to us is another option. Psalm 139:23-24 offers a starting point for such request: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” If we ask God to reveal our imperfections, he will. We can trust God’s love is constant (Romans 8:39), and he will give us the guidance to correct our flaws.
Laura’s actions provided Rob and the viewers with laughs, but they serve as a reminder that personal weaknesses left unchecked are no laughing matter.