01.27.21—Loving Criticism!- 2 Samuel 12:1-8
My friend, may I ask you a question? Do you find it easy to bring the spotlight to bear on others faults and difficult to allow even a small flashlight to shine upon our own? Perhaps you are trying to clean up the wrong mess?
My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day.
I’m M. Clifford Brunner
The old fix-it shop was open. That was good because I needed a plumbing fitting that couldn’t wait. Normally I would have traveled a few miles to the chain hardware store in the next town. Prices on their items were less and they stocked more. But this was an emergency. I had plumbing that was leaking and I needed that fitting now and the fix-it shop was local and nearly always open. Fred kept most of his plumbing fittings in a big box he kept under counter. You never knew if you were going to find what you needed until he had finished combing through that old, grease-stained box. I waited at the counter until he had finished with a customer outside. He came in, wiping his hands with an old stained rag. “What can I do for you?” “I need a 1/2” 90o elbow. It needs to be cast, not plastic. I’ve got a pretty bad leak over the water heater. Think you’ve got what I need in that old box?” Fred grabbed the box and began sifting through it.
As Fred continued to dig deeper and deeper into that box, I mused out loud, “You know, Fred? This place could really use some organization. Who knows what you’ve all got here? At that Fred stopped his rooting and pointed to an old sign hanging on a nail behind him. “See that sign? That’s my motto.” I squinted to read the old faded letters. I saw a picture of a broom followed by a line of copy that read, “You're welcome to sweep before my door after you cart the trash in front of your own.” It suddenly struck me that I had a basement room that looked like Fred’s store. And there was that tool shed that I never seemed to get straightened out. I knew where everything was, but neat? Fred was right, if I was going to sweep I needed to start closer to home.
How easy it is to bring the spotlight to bear on others faults and how difficult it is to allow even a small flashlight to shine upon our own. The fact is, if we are ever going to be of any real help to our neighbor in changing his life, we really need to start with our own first. The problem is that the longer we wait to bring change into our lives, the more insensitive we become to our own faults and bad habits. The longer we live with that insensitivity, the harder it becomes to see the need to change and the easier it becomes to see the need to change in other people’s lives. Is there someone in your life who just seems to bug you? Are their bad habits a constant source of irritation and discomfort? Perhaps their faults are merely a reflection of those that reside in your own life. When we're quick to condemn others, the first place we should look for fault is in our own lives. Perhaps it's the trash on our doorstep and not the dirt on their floor that needs removing.
We pray. Heavenly Father. The longer we wait to bring change into our lives, the more insensitive we become to our own faults and bad habits. Forgive us Lord. The longer we live with that insensitivity, the harder it becomes to see the need to change and the easier it becomes to see the need to change in other people’s lives. Help us to change Lord. Help us as well to not be so quick to condemn others, the first place and move us to look for fault that is in our own lives before we start blaming others for their bad habits. Lord, there is trash on our doorstep that needs to be cleaned up before we start looking at the dirt on other people’s floors that needs removing. Help us to be sensitive and kind in the way we view other people’s habits and lives. We pray this in Jesus name. Amen!
Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.
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<firstname.lastname@example.org> From Beech Springs, God bless you for Jesus sake.