And why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, “Let me take the speck out of your eye,” and behold, the log is in your own eye? Matthew 7:3-5
A critical spirit is a blind guide. Leave it out of your life.
Once a blind man, having a heavy schedule for the day, rose early. He had gotten dressed so quickly that when he stepped out into the morning commerce he still had his comb sticking in his hair. As he walked through his world, he began to condemn the loud talk of the people around him. He congratulated himself that he was not as ill-tempered as the quarrelsome hagglers in the marketplace. He felt good in his heart that he was not as boisterous as those who pushed and elbowed their way around him. He enjoyed feeling superior to those he secretly condemned.
While he thus gloried in his own intellectual superiority, he ran his hand across his hair to discover, with horror, that he had left his comb in his hair when he had gotten dressed to go to work. He was suddenly washed with healthy shame. It is dangerous to try to pick the speck out of other’s eyes with the logs of condemnation in your own.
Let’s talk about healthy shame. Healthy shame is not that which you seek to project on others, making them feel guilty because they lack your excellence. Healthy shame is that which you inflict on yourself. The sweetest words in the ears of our heavenly Father are: “O God, forgive me for presuming I was so much more than I really am!”
As humans, we have a basic need for community. Our shame in this case acts as a healthy reminder that sometimes we need help and that we have a need to be involved in loving, caring relationships.
One of the biggest road blocks to creativity is a feeling of being right. When we think we are absolutely right, we stop seeking further information. Being certain stops curiosity. Curiosity is at the heart of all learning. Our healthy shame never allows us to think we know it all.
Some would say that spirituality is our ultimate human need. Healthy shame is essential for grounding ourselves to this ultimate source of reality. Healthy shame reminds us that we are not God. It grounds us in humility.
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