By Jim Hughes
Prov. 17:9 Disregarding another person’s faults preserves love; telling about them separates close friends. NLT
We have a problem that doesn’t go away. We are prone to see the faults in people more than we do their good qualities. We magnify flaws more than we should. It is easy to see what’s wrong with others and overlook what is right with them. We do it for a variety of reasons. Probably the greatest reason is that when we do it, we forget about ourselves and our flaws. As long as we can point fingers at others, we can forget how needy we are to change. We live in denial. We think we are better off than we really are. We think we are justified in comparing others to ourselves and calling them up short.
First of all, we need to see ourselves for who we really are before God and not man. How we stack up to others is not even in the formula. All that matters is how God sees us. He sees our heart and knows our thoughts. He is never fooled by the way we portray ourselves. The sooner we accept this truth, the better we are.
We must then confess to the Lord what He reveals to us. We must not excuse ourselves or let it slide. We have need of confession for our sins. We have no business looking down on others because they are sinners when we ourselves are guilty of sin. We must take the log out of our own eyes before we take upon ourselves the duty of trying to take the splinter out of someone else’s eyes.
Love dictates that we mind our own business when it comes to the faults of others. We need to embrace others in love. We need to focus on the good in them and let the Lord take care of the rest. If there is something that should be pointed out for someone’s good because it is the loving thing to do, we should do it prayerfully and carefully. We should always do it out of love and never with a condescending or judgmental spirit.
Criticizing others drives them away from us. No one wants to be around someone who is always finding fault. The best way to be friendless is to have a critical and judgmental spirit. If you find yourself with very few friends, perhaps you need to look in the mirror and take an honest look at yourself as you stand before God.
About the Author
I am a retired pastor having served the church mainly as a bi-vocational pastor for over 40 years. I have been married for over 40 years and we have two married children and a single son. I have an online ministry, posting daily devotionals and tweeting on faith and marriage.
I have authored a series of devotional books covering every book of the Bible and several marriage books.
You can read Jim's "Sunday Inspiration" column the 3rd Sunday each month here at Pandora's Box Gazette.