I've had a lot of things on my mind lately. Things that I've seen in others that have really been getting to me. I usually don't post about such things, but I'm going to and at the end of this post I'll explain why.
~I'm frustrated by those that speak their opionions with frankness and don't consider how what they are saying might make others feel.
~It's bothering me that some people speak harshly of others, but then turn around and still choose to be friends and spend lots of time with those same people. Makes me wonder if they talk about me the same way.
~I'm bothered by the idea that going to others boldly (about their sin, relationship with the Lord, or lack thereof) is translated to many as speaking harshly. Jesus treated even the vilest of sinners with more love and grace than anyone else could understand.
~It's irritating when people say they want to grow in their relationship with the Lord and become more like Jesus, but when someone speaks the truth in love about an issue, they are offended or unwilling to examine whether or not there is truth to what's been said.
~I see many people looking at the lives of other Christians and judging how they are living, what kind of friend they are being, etc.
~Too many people are overlooking the people that are in their lives that could sharpen them and help them grow closer to the Lord and are instead spending their time with whoever is the most fun to be around.
~I've noticed LOTS of ungratefulness....someone goes out of their way to do something nice for you and the response is a quick "thanks" that seems given more out of duty than true gratefulness.
I think my list could continue on for a while....
The reason that I'm posting this though, is not because of what I see in others....It's because what I see in others ought to make me look at myself.
~Am I cautious about sharing my opinion and do I make sure that I do so in a way that is not hurtful, but constructive and will be well received?
~Do I expose the weaknesses of the ones that I love to others or do I allow my love for them to "cover an offense"?
~Do I go to others out of love and concern for them and speak the truth in love about their sin, salvation or relationship with the Lord? Or do I turn them off to a loving Heavenly Father by seeming anything, but loving?
~Am I teachable? Am I willing to hear the truth from those that love me and have my best interest at heart, even when it's a hard truth to hear? Am I willing to examine myself to see if it is truth and then seek the Lord to find the answers to resolving that issue? Or do I just allow myself to be offended and defensive?
~Am I spending too much time looking at the "speck in my brother's eye, instead of the log in my own"? Am I choosing to see the good in people and love them in spite of their faults and forgive them when necessary?
~Am I seeing the value of those that God has placed in my life? Am I choosing to make time for relationships that will sharpen me and that He is the center of?
~Do I make sure that those in my life feel valued by me and realize how thankful I am to have them in my life and how grateful I am for all that they do?
The bottom line is I need to realize when I see issues in others that it's a reminder for me to examine myself to see if I am guilty of those same issues. I cannot change other people, but I can change myself and if my focus is on others, then I will not have the focus necessary to change my own life to become more like Jesus. I truly want to be more like Him and must not allow the enemy to gain a foothold in my life because I'm more focused on other people than I am my relationship with the Lord. Gotta keep my flesh in check, ya know....