Patterns of Life



When you see something happening that is not quite to your liking, you look for a while and think to yourself, will I say something or not?


What about when you are looking at a painting that someone has spent a long time working on and in their eyes, it is the best art that they have ever completed. From your perspective, it is hardly worth the time looking at and so you tell the person that it is not very good at all.


You see a young person going past and they catch your eye for no other reason than the clothes they are wearing which may well be fashionable and they probably spent a great deal of money to purchase. You think what a waste of money, surely, they could have found something more suited to their age or some other reason that you think appropriate.


There is a story of a man and a boy walking with their donkey and by the time they arrived a village the boy had grown tired and so he rode the donkey and his father walked beside him. The people of the village criticised the boy for making his elderly father walk. As they approached the next village, to avoid criticism, the boy walked, and the father rode the donkey. The people watched them going by and criticised the father for riding while the boy walked. As they approached their final destination, it was decided they both should walk and lead the donkey. The people of this village watching the father and son walking and criticised them because they had not taken full advantage of the ability of the donkey to carry them both.


In each of the illustrations there was some difficulty of refraining from criticising what was seen or witnessed. Very few of us can claim not to have been critical of something or someone, even though we might feel justified by saying, it is only constructive criticism. That might be so, but it may be the manner in which we voice the criticism which may hurt the one to whom the criticism is addressed.


Jesus spoke about judging others or criticising them as you will be likewise judged according to the way you judge others. In other words, take a good look at yourself before offering a comment that the same cannot be said of you in similar circumstances. Jesus refers to this as before taking the speck of sawdust from your brother’s eye you first need to pay attention to the plank in your own eye. It is better that you first remove the plank from your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.(Matthew 7:1 -6)


This sounds like good advice to think carefully before offering critical comment or advice.


Robert Arnold

Pastor, Kyabram Baptist Church




















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