“consider the plank in your own eye”
I had a chat with an acquaintance of mine I ran into in the store the other day. A fairly brief, incredibly painful chat…
We chat every few weeks at church, and she’s pleasant enough, but honestly, conversations are hard. Something’s always wrong in her life, and she tends to monopolize the conversation with her woes.
Which, I know, we all need sometimes. We need to vent. We need prayer. I know there have been times when I’ve been the Debbie Downer to one of my friends.
But this is every time I talk to her. And frankly it’s tiring.
Isn’t that awful of me to say that? Isn’t it awful of me to even think that? And that’s what I find myself thinking after every one of our conversations ~ how thoughtless and self-involved I am, and how I hope she didn’t notice. I scold myself for not being more patient, and I decide to be more thoughtful and understanding the next time.
The good news, I remind myself, is that I keep trying. I don’t walk away from these conversations thinking, “Oh my gosh, she drives me crazy!” No, I walk away thinking, “Why can’t I be more loving towards her, in my heart?” I know that it’s largely because I’m introverted. A lot of even pleasant conversations can leave me exhausted. But there are people I’m happy to make the sacrifice for, and people… well, people like her. Talking with her is hard, and it’s somewhat her fault, and yet all I can think about is my faults.
I’m encouraged by that. I’m encouraged by my awareness of my failings. Clearly I have a long way to go, but I’m glad I know where to go ~ no matter how often ~ for help in getting that plank out of my eye.
~ “First remove the plank from your own eye,
and then you will see clearly
to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” ~