The other day, in the midst of cleaning the bathroom, the scales had left its normal home and instead found itself on the bedroom carpet. When my daughter stepped on the scales, she weighed a mere 64 pounds. That number was considerably lower than reality. And it got me thinking…
You see, in our day to day conversations, we love when people agree with us…compliment us…sing our praises. But some of us are always weighing ourselves “on the carpet”. We only listen to the good things. We only want to hear the positive.
When someone comes to us with a criticism…or they disagree with us…we tend to do two things. First, we may rationalize in our heads why the “mean, unloving” person could not possibly be right in their estimation or conclusion. And then, oftentimes, we put our feet firmly on our comfortable “carpet” and ask those we know who will agree with us what their opinion is about the criticism or statement.
I am not referring to biblical issues here. I am referring to…
*When your husband tells you that the dress you are wearing isn’t the most complementary to your figure. Instead of getting mad and turning to your friends (who often do not tell you the truth, anyway), be thankful your husband is willing to tell you the truth.
*When your wife tells you that you never listen to her. Instead of finding your buddies and talking about how “needy” your wives are, take her out to dinner and really listen to her.
*When your kids tell you that you have been grumpy lately. Instead of getting defensive and spouting a list of excuses, try examining your words, actions, and reactions…one by one…so that you can see how they might be reaching this conclusion.
*When your friend tells you that your child was caught smoking, or at the R-rated movie you told him was not allowed, or that he cheated on a test. Instead of turning away from your friend and defending your child, ask the hard questions and deal with the reality of where your child may be spiritually.
*When your pastor convicts and challenges you from the pulpit. Instead of looking around at others who “should be listening”, look at yourself.
You see, so many of us want to just weigh ourselves on the carpet. We only want to surround ourselves with people who will tell us the things we want to hear. But be careful. Because you will harm yourself and your family if you aren’t willing to listen to the truth. And let’s face it…we all have areas in which we need to grow. We all have areas in which we are not pleasing our heavenly father. And if we don’t have anyone in our lives that will help us see what areas still need work, then our growth will be seriously stunted.
Sure it hurts when people tells us a painful truth about ourselves. It hurts a lot. But, in the long run, if we can receive someone’s godly counsel with humility and grace, we will be thankful to the person who stuck out their neck to tell us that painful truth. And we will realize something. That person really cares about us. They cared enough to tell us the truth. Don’t get angry. Be grateful!
And, listen…if the person talking to you is not right in what they are saying…then…SO WHAT? Let it roll. Examine yourself, just to make sure. Then talk with someone who will be honest with you, so you can be doubly sure…and then…let it roll right off of your back. Accept the criticism with humility, recognize it as false, and then move on. Don’t sit in bitterness and resentment. It is not worth it!
Why don’t you move your scales today?