Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The Beam

On Sunday I got myself in a righteous (righteous--get it? Oh, the irony) snit over some things that happened in Primary. Three of our teachers just didn’t show up, and I was frustrated and annoyed with the extra work I had to do unexpectedly. By the end of church, my feet hurt, my head hurt, and I was just plain mad. (Obviously I didn’t get any spiritual benefit out of the majority of church on Sunday.) I complained about it to my husband after church, and then used my frustration as justification for an extra-long nap while he watched the children. In my mind, I’ve counted the times I’ve come to church with a cold, a sore throat, morning sickness, etc., and done my job anyway. Why can’t other people be as considerate as I am?

Oy. It’s been dawning on me slowly just how proud and hypocritical I’ve been. It’s not just the fact I don’t know what kind of legitimate circumstances they might have for missing church. It’s not just that I’m not perfect in my church callings (hello, visiting teaching?). It’s that, even if I was better at visiting teaching, I don’t have any right to be so judgmental and self-righteous about others.

Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye. (Matt 7:5)
This is one of my most troubling personal failings. I am very good at seeing how others can improve. I am not so good at recognizing my own failings. The fact that it took me almost two days to realize my judgmental nature in this situation is proof of that. I’ve been trying to think of ways to help myself with both the fault and the recognizing the fault. So far, I’ve only come up with two: I need to pray for help from the Lord; and I need to write in my journal daily. The first is obvious. The second--well, I’ve discovered that I see things more clearly after writing them down. If anyone reading this has any other ideas, please feel free to put them in the comments. I need all the help I can get!


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  • I think you read my post on judge not. This stuff strikes a chord with me. I think this comes down to having charity for others and looking at them the same way christ does. This is much easier said than done. About the only thing I remember reading in the scriptures about getting charity is to pray for it. I have also experienced that one of the best ways to learn to love someone is to serve them.

    By Blogger Eric Nielson, at 1/31/2006 12:34 PM  

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