Why is it that the people I’m closest with are the ones I hurt the most? I seem to have this tendency of becoming frustrated very easily. I’ll point fingers at so-and-so. I’ll accuse, I’ll blame, I’ll criticize.
Out of frustration, I can become angry, bitter, and even speak ill about those whom I love. I can’t say that I’m proud of this. It’s just that in the heat of the moment I simply lose control of my emotions.
Then recently, an old saying began to replay over and over in my mind. “When you point one finger, there are three fingers pointing back at you.”
Just maybe, okay truthfully, those accusations, blames, and criticisms are somewhere hidden in me.
I can’t help but wonder why I put myself up on that pedestal. The one that proclaims I’m so much better than they. When, realistically, my behaviors- as a result of frustration- only proves I’m no more righteous than they.
I had a very recent encounter with a week-long battle of anger, bitterness, and slandering the ones that I dearly love. This type of behavior only yielded the same reactions from my loved ones. I had to do something to change this. And fast.
I prayed. I humbled myself. And my answer was one of those extreme encounters with God that lead me to a greater revelation. His revelation. Humility picked me up off my pedestal and knocked me to my knees.
That old saying that kept repeating in my mind was not a new concept to God. In fact He’s the original author of it:
“Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.”- Matthew 7:1-2 (NLT)
Its true. When I accuse, blame, and criticize, the same will be returned to me. I quickly recognized my wrongs as sin. I confessed to God and asked for forgiveness. But I knew this was more than just an “okay, you’re good to go!” This was a real matter of a heart change that needed to take place.
The only hope for that change was surrounding myself in truth. The word of God. It’s the blueprint for all of life’s circumstances. And my change of heart was found in Ephesians 4:29-32, 5:1-2 ::
- I must quit speaking ill will and only use words that edify those around me. Not just the ones I love the most, but even my enemies (Matthew 5:43-48) too! “Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.”
- I must stop living a life that points fingers at others. This not only offends them, but God as well. Upon doing so, I am guaranteed grace to overcome- by the same God who gives me His grace and salvation. “And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.”
- I must not dwell upon those frustrations that ultimately lead me to accuse, blame, and criticize. “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior.”
- I must confess and ask for forgiveness from my sins. The same blessings I receive from Jesus after I’ve done wrong is to be projected from me unto others. “Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”
This revelation reminded me that God so loves everyone in this world, not just me. And, yes, I am esteemed, favorited, and beloved- but so are they. We are all His sons and daughters. I must “Imitate God, therefore, in everything [I] do, because [I am one of] his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ.”
Simply put, I must walk in the way of love.
“And so, dear friends, ..make every effort to be found living peaceful lives that are pure and blameless in his sight.”- 2 Peter 3:14 (NLT)