How easy to see the faults of others

The Rev. Geoffrey Butcher, Priest-in-Charge - Trinity Episcopal Church, Russellville

Both Jesus and Buddha knew how easy it is for us to see the faults in others. In fact, it is easier to see their faults rather than our own.

Jesus said, “First of all remove the large plank in your own eye before attempting to take out the splinter in the eye of another.” Buddha said, “How easy it is to see your brother’s faults, how hard to face your own.”

It is often true that people who have difficulty managing their own lives take it upon themselves to manage the lives of others – first by noting their faults. Usually the new manager would prefer not to talk with the person whose faults they perceive, but rather to a third party. Gossip has a seductive way of making us feel better about ourselves by lowering the esteem of others. We also utter our criticisms to a third party so we can remain safe from hearing a rebuttal.

On occasion, after dealing with the “plank” in your own eye, it can be helpful with a loving attitude to tell a friend

that you perceive something is bothering her/him and that you would like to help. A positive approach can produce positive results. Be careful not to attack your friend with heavy handed criticism. A Chinese proverb gives wise advice. “Do not remove a fly from your friend’s head with a hatchet.” Remember to be gentle; ask questions before accusing. You might be wrong yourself.

A person who understands his or her own faults and deals with them patiently is more likely to be understanding of others with similar problems. Your attitude can be one of compassion rather than condemnation. Be generous to others even with their faults. In the process you may be able to be kind to yourself to heal your own faults.

The Rev. Geoffrey Butcher, Priest-in-Charge

Trinity Episcopal Church, Russellville

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