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Pointers along the way #314

I am special, watch out!
- Jacob Ninan

It gives us great rest to recognise that we are all so unique in the way we are. Our temperament, family upbringing, experiences, abilities, knowledge, culture, etc., combine to make each of us such unique persons that there is no one just like us in the whole world. The rest comes by giving up comparing ourselves with others and also trying to become like someone else. God has made us and accepted us just the way we are.

But suppose we think, "I am like this. Others better make way for me!" It can cause a lot of wounds and unpleasantness. This is because we are living in a world full of people who are different from us! This is not our world. It belongs to all of us. If we don't understand this and go ahead pushing our way we can create a lot of havoc instead of being the special blessing God intends us to be.

We all have blind spots. We can't see the beams sticking out of our own eyes even when we can clearly see the specks in others' eyes! We really can't see those beams, because if we could we would have done something about them. When someone tells us about them we aren't too happy to hear that! But they do exist (Mt.7:5). When we are out on a spree to take off the specks from other eyes, let's not forget about these beams. We need to identify them and take them off as quickly as we see them.

We all have our rough edges too. We may have full justifications worked out to show that those rough edges have unique values to bless the others! But the question is whether the others are getting blessed or wounded. It is truly great to say the right word at the right time in the right way (Pr.25:11). Even good words need to be spoken at the appropriate time (Ecc.3:1), and in a way that the others can receive well. We all may be speaking and listening at somewhat different frequencies, and sometimes when we are not tuned to the other's frequency our words and actions can be distorted and jarring to the ears!

In a sense none of us can help blundering along in this way. We do find occasions where we feel like biting our lips for saying the wrong thing. Sometimes our good intentions are not backed up by wisdom. But we can learn something when that happens. We can recognise some more about our jagged edges and also about the other's tender areas. If we don't want to hurt others but only to bless them, we'd better learn how to do things differently in the future.

God wants to teach and train us in this area (Is.50:4). We won't reach perfection in a day or two, for sure. But we can make progress if we are willing to learn and make changes.

Our tendency is to want to change the others so that we can go on without obstacles! But that is to be ruled out. The more we try that the more upset the other person is going to be, and we are going to become more frustrated. What we need to do is to get a better understanding about ourselves and also the others we deal with, and make changes in our own attitude and approach. This is what is going to work.


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