Saturday, March 25, 2006

Walter on Fault-Finding...

My old pal Walter wrote a pithy little letter not too long ago on fault-finding and how to fix it. You can read the whole thing here, but I thought I would offer this small sampling for a Saturday afternoon. Good preparation for all you GFC folks for our Fellowship Lunch tomorrow!
One of the funniest things about being human, however, is that we tend to discover these mistakes very quickly in everyone but ourselves. Most men are like children standing in front of a carnival mirror – yet the distorted picture they see is one of near-perfection, not sinful silliness.

Jesus said it this way:

Luke 6:41 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 42 How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother's eye.

Most of us are running around with cedar fence-poles sticking out of our eyes while we hunt for a fleck of lint in our brother’s ocular apparatus. Let it be stated, you’ll never get close enough to a man to really see him if you’re sticking a fence-pole into his forehead! Let it also be stated that lint leaves faster than lumber! It takes no scientist to see at least a part of what Jesus was getting at is that we ought to pay a might more attention to our own stuff than we normally do… and not worry so much about the stuff in our neighbour.

Daughters of Eve and Sons of Adam have this in common – an inborn ability to think too high of themselves. Show me a critical and fault-finding woman and I’ll show you a woman who’s never seriously looked in the mirror of Truth. Open your mouth and all looks fine – until the dentist shines his bright light in there to find holes and stains galore. There are far too many denture-Christians, running around like they had Robert Redford’s teeth when the fact is 18 years of coffee-drinking has done its damage. We were born damaged, and years of sin (as an unbeliever or a believer) means we have faults-a-plenty to contend with – most of them entirely unseen by us. It might surprise the average person to have everyone in the room write down one constructive criticism of them. Why, a whole book with multiple chapters, an index and colour illustrations could be written in an hour! That’s why the Lord said through Solomon:

Proverbs 10:12 Hatred stirs up strife, / but love covers all offenses.

Or, as Peter said in the New Testament:

1 Peter 4:8 Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.

The best way to handle another’s faults is to soak them in a bucket of love. The worst medicine doesn’t taste too bad in a glass of milk. Surround your liver and onions with some good old mashed potatoes and it’ll go down a tad easier. Put some love into every relationship and you’ll find you can bear more than an elephant.

If we thought more about what was good in others instead of what was wrong, we’d find life a tractor-load more pleasant and perhaps load up on a few good friends along the way. Some people are drawn to failings in others like sharks to fresh blood. The old shark wondered where all his friends had disappeared to… he should have looked in his belly!

Galatians 5:14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.

Have a fantastic day today loving your neighbour!

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