Wednesday, June 17, 2009

What? That's In Me? NO!

My, my, where does the time go? I can't believe it's been almost a month since I wrote a post on this blog. I have been busy. Who isn't? And I have had lots of thoughts and ideas of things to write about, but just haven't.

Today in My Utmost for His Highest the reading is something that especially spoke to me because it speaks to a basic struggle of mine. I'm a perfectionist by nature and that is good for my job as an editor. That particular character quality however plays havoc with personal relationships. It's as natural to me to size up a situation or person and to make a snap judgment, which way too often leads to judgment and criticism. An editor is supposed to do that. A relational person cannot do that.

Thus, the reading for today speaks to me. Here it is:

"Judge not, that ye be not judged." Matthew 7:1

Jesus says regarding judging - Don't. The average Christian is the most penetratingly critical individual. Criticism is a part of the ordinary faculty of man; but in the spiritual domain nothing is accomplished by criticism. The effect of criticism is a dividing up of the powers of the one criticized; the Holy Ghost is the only One in the true position to criticize, He alone is able to show what is wrong without hurting and wounding. It is impossible to enter into communion with God when you are in a critical temper; it makes you hard and vindictive and cruel, and leaves you with the flattering unction that you are a superior person. Jesus says, as a disciple cultivate the uncritical temper. It is not done once and for all. Beware of anything that puts you in the superior person's place.

There is no getting away from the penetration of Jesus. If I see the mote in your eye, it means I have a beam in my own. Every wrong thing that I see in you, God locates in me. Every time I judge, I condemn myself (see Romans 2:17-20). Stop having a measuring rod for other people. There is always one fact more in every man's case about which we know nothing. The first thing God does is to give us a spiritual spring-cleaning; there is no possibility of pride left in a man after that. I have never met the man I could despair of after discerning what lies in me apart from the grace of God.

Is this not a great writing?

I have already discovered an interesting thing in others, which is probably as evident in me to others as theirs is to me. That "thing" is when I hear someone complain loudly or long about something or criticize another, I usually see that characteristic strongly in the one talking. Paul and I have had a good time discussing that fact.

Personal lesson in that for me is when I find myself criticizing or angry at another over a certain thing, I have learned to look at why that is so disturbing. Way too often I find that I have that very same thing within and to a larger degree, but unrecognized. It's been an interesting journey down this road. My unrecognized characteristics that I'm blind to are touched and make me angry and upset with someone else who shows those characteristics. Methinks this wouldn't happen if I didn't already have something similar in me to touch. Interesting, interesting.

Don't you think that's amazing? As I am open to letting myself think this through, I am learning a lot about myself. That's what most of Oswald Chamber's writings do for me. He puts into words what I'm already learning intuitively, so that when I read it, I say YES! That is so true!

Did you notice I used present tense in the previous paragraph? I wrote, "He puts" as if he's still alive. I think relational truth remains active and present no matter when it's written. With that, I close. MB