“Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye?” // Matthew 7:4
“Oh, this woman is driving me crazy! How did I get stuck working with someone who annoys me so much?!” I pondered this question as I walked to my car after work. My conscience reprimanded me, telling me I should be more charitable with her. I drowned out the reproach with the radio and drove home.
However, I thought about what a priest said regarding people that annoy us. He suggested that the things we dislike in them can be the same things we dislike in ourselves. I tested the theory. What bothered me most about her? She bragged about her accomplishments, was needy, and always looked for affirmation. That’s nothing like me. Right?
I recalled getting upset when a friend was praised for a job well done while my work was overlooked. And when I made my weekend sound more exciting than it really was. Also, the times I felt insecure and uncomfortable around other people, I dealt with the feelings by being quieter and not drawing attention to myself. She dealt with her struggle to fit in by being louder and shining the spotlight on herself.
Then my conscience started reminding me of all the ways I could be annoying to other people. It seems I had forgotten the words of Jesus, “Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye?” (Matthew 7:4).
I was the hypocrite. So I made the decision to be intentionally kind to her. And when I got to know her better, I saw beyond her behavior to the motivation behind it, and I became more understanding of what she was dealing with in her life. In turn, she seemed happier and more confident in herself.
Who is someone you’ve judged or been uncharitable to in your life? Will you show them kindness and mercy? Will you hold your tongue before making a snide remark? Will you pray for them to be healed from the pain that causes them to act out? Instead of judging, let us be merciful, just as our Father is merciful (Luke 6:36).Let us be merciful. // Bobbi Rol Click To Tweet