Matthew 7 1-5 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”
How do you react when someone gives you unrequested criticism about some seemingly mundane part of your life? Like when your wife notes that you steadfastly refused to take off your shoes (she has asked you to do this 257 times in the last year), your behavior reinforces the kids’ lack of respect towards her discipline.
Can you dismiss it? Can you resist it? Do you ignore it? Can you hug it? Your wife is onto something. Our tendencies create behaviors, leading to outcomes, and outcomes create reality. Your tendency to not listen to your wife’s seemingly mundane requests creates a lack of respect toward her, which is reflected in your kids’ behavior, and the reality you are creating is a less-than-happy wife. Repeat after me, “Happy wife, happy life.”
Some self-awareness can only come from those who are closest to us. And while many aspire to be great leaders, no one becomes much of a leader if they remain unaware of their own heart’s content. So take criticism as a gift and use it to examine your weaknesses. Then, converse with others and God on those weaknesses and ultimately discern how to use them or dispose of them. Self-awareness is hard work.
You may need to reach out to friends and ask them, “if I had to make one change in my life, what would you suggest?” You may find they not only want to see you grow as a person, but they may also ask you the same thing about them. While no one likes it, growth takes some pruning.
Pro Tip: since we are so close to the idea of a mentor here, why not just jump into it? If you and I are looking to grow, find a mentor and spend time speaking with them. They will listen, ask, suggest, and then they will pray. Having someone willing to provide good constructive input and pray for you is perfect.
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