First of all, I apologize that this post is not timely. I missed both of my usual posting dates – Monday and Thursday – because this week has been busy with beginning Nurse Aide training! It’s been a tiring week, but I have learned so much and have a feeling that the end of this summer will be a definite introduction to the world of patient care. Ready or not, here I come!
Busyness and tiredness in my life also tends to lead to grouchiness. With that, I give you today’s musing topic: hyper-critical-ness. I have a habit of suggesting to my sisters (and sometimes even my parents) that they modify their behavior. In my mind, I am encouraging them and spurring them to holiness (as if I am qualified to evaluate in that area…) My mom the other day, though, to see that there is a fine line between motivating and making unkind assumptions, and I had crossed it.
The situation was that one of my sisters had expressed frustration at something and I immediately called her out for not speaking positively. My thought was that she should be speaking only that which was uplifting, even if that meant stifling a struggle. My quick response was unkind and inappropriate, though. Not only did I cut her off and end potential dialogue about a difficulty in her life, but it also turned out that I had misheard her!
When I shut myself in my room a little later to catch my breath and clear my mind, I recalled the verse from Matthew that says, “How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye?” (7:4). Yup, I definitely had a log in my eye. I was so quick to see her speech as wrong that I completely overlooked the unloving way in which I was responding to her.
I believe that there do exist situations in which we should “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15). Perhaps in my situation there was room for improvement in my sister’s behavior and I could have encouraged her gently. Whatever the case, though, I need to rely on the Holy Spirit to guide my speech rather than appointing myself to be the critiquer of others’ actions. There is definitely room for improvement in my own life and I am so in need of God’s grace and mercy. Come, Holy Spirit and lead me in my actions and responses. Give me more of your love and wisdom, and keep me from being a plank-eyed speck-pointer.