Today’s Scripture: Galatians 6:1 KJV
Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
After 15 years of marriage, a couple began to have more than usual disagreements. They wanted to make their marriage work, so they agreed on an idea floated by the wife. For one month they planned to drop a slip in a “Fault” box. The boxes would provide a place to let the other know about daily irritations. The wife was diligent in her efforts and approach: “leaving the jelly top off the jar,” “wet towels on the shower floor,” “dirty socks not in hamper,” on and on until the end of the month. After dinner, at the end of the month, they exchanged boxes. The husband reflected on what he had done wrong. Then the wife opened her box and began reading. They were all the same, the message on each slip was, “I love you!”
It does not require much effort to find faults in relationships. It takes a lot more however to empathize; to approach the faults of those around us with kindness and love, finding constructive ways to help them overcome their weaknesses. Harsh criticism has been the ruin of many a relationship. Oftentimes, we mean well but allow our emotions convey our concern with more force than it should.
The truth is, people respond better to criticisms meted out in love than out of resentment or frustration. Relationships generally work better when we criticize less. In fact, the most effective way to deal with the weakness of others is not to lash out at them, but to pray. Take the faults of the ones you love, first, to God. If you need to confront them after that, ask the Holy Spirit to give you the grace to do it in gentleness and wisdom. Be slow to criticize. This is how God relates with us; and this is how He desires we relate with others. Today, make a commitment to criticize less and empathize more. Receive the grace to bear the faults of those you love in gentleness and wisdom. Let your desire to see them become better drive you to pray for them.
Memorize & Meditate:
“Then let us no more criticize and blame and pass judgment on one another, but rather decide and endeavor never to put a stumbling block or an obstacle or a hindrance in the way of a brother.” Romans 14:13 (The Amplified Bible)
Father, grant me the grace to be less critical of others, to bear their faults in wisdom and love. I am not a fault-finder; I believe the best of others, in Jesus’ name.