I hate spiders. A lot. Anytime I see one inside the house I stop everything and kill it. However recently I have had a slight change of heart. Not enough to make me start cuddling with them or anything, but enough to treat them with the respect they deserve. Two things caused this paradigm shift. First, I was over at my Fiancés apartment and she was complaining about fruit flies. Wandering around the kitchen while she was cleaning, I noticed on a plant in the window was a fairly large web on it and a spider the size of a watermelon seed. I said “Yuck. You got a spider living in your plant.” That's when she freaked out and told me to kill it (she hates them more than me). However, I noticed the web was covered in little specs; fruit flies. I told her she should leave it cause it was solving her fruit fly problem and she said that was fine being it was far away from her normal activities. I had always known that spiders ate insects, but never really thought of it in this helpful light before. So I left it to do what it was best at.
The second, and I think most important spider moment, also involved Angela. We were standing outside somewhere when I heard her shriek. I turned and looked down to see a spider the size of a half dollar skittering across the ground. Just like that, out of instinct I'm sure, she stepped on it, killing it. I instantly felt bad. For something I hated so much, for the first time, I felt bad for it. It was outside where it was supposed to be and even then, we killed it. It didn't deserve that at all. I have sense then taken a “stop and think” method to spider removal. Even though I still find spiders disgusting, if I can get it outside without killing it, I will.
I think that Christians get in the habit of killing spiders outside. We are so quick to act on our instincts and smash a spider because it's something we don't like, even when it's where we'd expect it to be. We can't do this to people, just like we shouldn't do it to spiders.
Through your lifetime you will see people who don't live like you, act like you or believe like you and our tendency is to stomp it out of our lives and proceed more safely, but those people are right where they need to be, for you to make a difference in their lives. When we focus on the fact that a spider is disgusting or scary we forget the utility and value they have in our world, as with the fruit flies. The same is for those people we don't see eye to eye with. We need to stop acting on our instincts that say “Quick kill it!” and learn to love people through our differences. When we do that our lives aren't controlled by fear or our incompatibility, but how all of us have a purpose and a reason to be here.
As for me and my dislike of spiders, I don't think I'll ever keep one as a pet, but they hold a very different spot in my heart now.