Removing the Beam

It’s so hard to convey perspective when you don’t have it yourself.

Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, Let me remove that splinter from your eye, while the wooden beam is in your eye? You hypocrite,  remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye. – Matthew 7:3-5

For the past couple of days I’ve been discussing with Blossom problems she has at home and at school. When I really sit back and look at it without my “Mom glasses” on, I can see much of it is minor but some of it is big, especially in they eyes of an eight year old. While trying to explain to her the benefit of taking care of your own behavior instead of focusing on or pointing out bad behavior in others, I remembered this bible verse from Matthew and brought it into the conversation. She actually knew the verse better than I did and corrected my version. It’s hard to convey to a child all of the nuances of relationships and interactions with other people. As a parent what I really want for her is to simply enjoy being a kid and not have to think about whether or not a classmates actions or comments constitute bullying or just annoying behaviors.

The central part of what we talked about was self control and keeping things in perspective.

With the advantage of adulthood and years of experience, I know how important it is to take my own inventory before I even think about passing my judgement on some else. After I tucked her in I found myself wonder, “Do I?” Don’t I walk through my days pointing out the faults and errors in many who cross my path?

I am a WAY better driver than 99.9 percent of the population and boy if I could just tell those bad drivers to their face I’d point out to them all the wrong things they are doing! I should really focus on being the best driver I can be. After all there’s not a darn thing I can do about the driving habits of others .  If they, a. don’t get caught, and b. don’t endanger me or another driver, what will my ranting and raging accomplish? Oh, yeah, it makes me angry and unhappy while I’m driving!

I find myself looking into other shoppers grocery carts and judging  if the cart is full of junk/convenience food and my cart is perfectly ordered with wholesome foods and snacks. Tsk tsk tsk! Forget the fact that I’ll probably go get a latte at Starbucks on the way home.

My advice to Blossom tonight was to take tomorrow and really pay attention to everything she does and says, to think before she speaks and acts. Take it slow and concentrate on choosing the right behavior.

I’m going to take my own advice and move through my day controlling me and not trying to control others with my thoughts or judgments. It won’t change anything to condemn the actions of someone else, but it will change me if I practice some self discipline in my thoughts, and in my words and in what I do or in what I fail to do.

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