..."and a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the way of holiness; evil minded people shall not travel on it, but it shall be for those wayfarers who are traveling toward God. (Isaiah 35:8, adapted)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Stop Complaining and Fault-Finding

"Do all things without murmurings"

A subtle snares lays in the sin of
excessive fault-finding.Self-knowledge
is rare, we rarely see our sins and
our shortcomings. But let me tell you
something: complainers make even
less progress in this area.

It is doubtful whether one person
in a hundred of those who are always
looking at the bad side of things,
always pointing fingers, always
trying to pick apart what other
people say will be found to be
in any degree aware at how far
their own hearts lay away from God.

They view themselves as spiritual,
as without major defect, having
a sweet tongue, and think they
are easy to live with. What a joke!

The clever critic has a bitter tongue
and a hard heart. God searches
within and none of this kind of thing
is pleasing to Him. Whatever
happened to "love thinks no evil
but suffers long and is kind?"

Critical people disturb the very
air in a room, they provoke
people to argue, make virtue
difficult, exasperate children,
degrade the testimony of
the Church as a gentle people
given to love. Do we forget
how much mercy Christ has
shown us?

Even if we are trying to be
"good Christians" we can be sadly
unaware at the ceaseless dribble
of ill natured comments and
antagonizing accusations
coming from our tongues.

A school child can be quick
to hurt with hateful, jealous,
unkind remarks. Even a
woman who stays at home
can speak poorly of those
that come to serve her. A mother
can mean well but tear down
rather than build up. She may
expect her children to go
astray and so they do.

If you find yourself caught
in this disastrous bondage
take heed to these four things:

1) One day a week keep a strict
account of EVERYTHING you say.
Ask yourself how much of this is
complaining, and present the sad
score to yourself and to God at
night for reckoning.

2) Dare to ask a trusted friend to
keep you accountable and to
tell you when you start to fall into
bad talk.

3) Count your blessings, they are many.

4) Ask God for strength to make
the changes you need to.

If you follow these four simple
things, you can begin to change
the ugly habits that make you
...well, ugly.

"New Helps for A Holy Lent"
F.D. Huntington
adapted and abridged

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