Words of Worth

Finding Fault

January 25, 2013

fault findingIf you’ve been reading “31 Days of Praise” you may remember we were challenged the other day to thank God for the weaknesses, moodiness, irritating habits, demands, unrealistic expectations, and unloving ways of the people in our lives. We are to thank God because He wants to do good things in our hearts through the faults of others! I had to re-read that day’s entry several times. Shouldn’t God be concerned about doing good things in their lives and not mine? After all, they’re the ones with the faults!

I have often been amazed that certain religious orders of monastics vow, “I will not talk about the faults of others.” What a daunting task! And of course at the root of that talking is slander and slander is something the Bible tells us we are not to do. However, it is very easy to put others down and to form a habit of talking about the weaknesses of others and not even realize we are doing so. Why do we do that?  Someone once said, “You get together with a friend and talk about the faults of this person and the misdeeds of that one. Then you go on to discuss others’ mistakes and negative qualities. In the end, the two of you feel good because you’ve agreed you’re the two best people in the world.”

That’s kind of how I felt the other day when I read that I was to thank God for the faults of others. I did thank God for their faults. I said, “Thank God I don’t have them!” And if it wasn’t enough that the author of the praise book mentioned to give thanks for the weaknesses of others on the 22 day of praise, she continued suggesting that on the 23-25 day of praise!

Now I know why she repeated it so much. She repeated it just for me! Repetition is a good teacher and I didn’t learn the value of thanking God for the faults of others on the 22nd day of praise. I needed days 23-25 to realize that the good things God does through the weaknesses of others is shine the light on my reactions to their frustrating behavior so that I can see the areas in my own life in which I need to grow.

God’s funny that way sometimes!  He cleverly and tenderly brings me down to the right size and shows me how to grow the fruit of the Spirit within me. He shows me how to be more loving, kind, and patient.  He reveals to me that the imperfections of others gives me a chance to love nobly, to love people who aren’t necessarily acting so loving towards me in their weaknesses (Matthew 5:46). And He shows me while He holds up the mirror to my heart reflecting that I’m not so flaw-less or fault-less myself. And then He gently reminds me that He not only loves me, in all my warts, wrinkles, and wrong doings, He loves those I find fault with the same way-warts, wrinkles, and wrong doings and without conditions!

 8 Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 9 Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.

I Peter 3:8-9

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