Weekend Thought: Let’s focus on own flaws before others

Halifax Minster
Halifax Minster

Have you ever been guilty of looking at others your own age and thinking, ‘Surely I can’t look that old?’

It reminds me of the story told by a woman waiting for her first appointment with a new dentist. On the wall were all his diplomas with his full name visible. Then she remembered a tall, handsome boy with the same name that had been to the same school as she, some 40 years before. Could he be the same person that she had a secret crush on, way back?

Upon seeing him however, she quickly discarded any such thought. This balding grey-haired man with a deeply lined face was far too old to have been her class mate…… or could he?

After he examined her teeth, she asked him if he had attended the same high school. ‘Yes, yes, I did,’ he gleamed with pride. ‘Those were some of my happiest days.’

‘When did you leave?’ the woman enquired.

‘In 1978,’ he answered. ‘Why do you ask?’ ‘You were in my class,’ the woman exclaimed with excitement. He looked at her closely, then said with some condescension, ‘What did you teach?’

It’s so easy, isn’t it, to see the faults in someone else? We see their wrinkles – we see their grey hair, or lack of it; but we’re not so quick to notice those flaws in ourselves.

Reading the Word of God is like looking in a mirror. Here we can see how far we come short of the glory of God. In his wonderful grace, he gives to each one of us, whatever we look like, his love and forgiveness as we come to him. May we view God’s Word not as a microscope to examine others but as a mirror to search our own hearts and lives.