Finding Fault, by S. Sharonlu Sheridan OSF

It happens frequently.  Someone stops you to tell you what is wrong with you or what you wear or what you say or what you do.  (I know you never do this, so I am not talking about you!)  It hurts, and sometimes you shy away from the person because of it.

Other times a casual friend exhibits a habit that drives you up a wall.  It is not wrong, not wicked, not evil, just annoying.  You may shy away from that person too.  Things like that happen.  To prefer not to be with someone is your right.  But to complain to others about what you found so irritating is not.

There was once a young man who was dating a very nice young lady.  She was wise and witty, charming and moral, and he began to think about her as a life partner.  The only thing holding him back was a little habit she had that really annoyed him.  She would flip back her hair with her hand.  This did not happen now-and-then.  It seemed to him it was constant.  He decided this was something he could not take for a lifetime, so he broke the relationship.

About two years later, he received an invitation to the wedding of a friend of his.  The bride-to-be was the very girl he had broken up with.  At the wedding reception he asked the groom just what had attracted him to her in the first place.  “You know,” the groom replied, “it was that cute little way she has of flipping her hair.” Ah, yes. What is annoying to me may be charming to someone else.

It is certainly all right to be annoyed at a fault of another.  But unless it is a child you are training, it is not all right to point that behavior to them or others.

Remember, when you point your finger at someone, three fingers point back to you.  Check up on yourself first.  Shakespeare had it right when he wrote: “To thine own self be true, and it must follow as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.”  Or better still the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Keep three checks on yourself today before you check once on your friends.

Peace and Prayers,

Sharonlu OSF
Sisters of St. Francis, Oldenburg

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