Matthew 7:5 – You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye. (NIV)
Galatians 5:22-23a – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. (ESV)
I never really thought too much about the first verse, and certainly not about the results that it could create. I have had situations that caused a lot of hurt and mixed feelings in the past. Then one day, it hit me: Is there something in her past that could cause her to act like she does? Is there something about me that is a problem? I started to pray and ask God to change me: If there is something in me that causes these feelings, then help me to change. After a few weeks and some events, it was obvious that things seemed different. God took care of her, and He also helped me to change my way of looking at and reacting to situations. Wow! Big difference!
The second verse speaks to me, especially about having patience. I always thought that I had patience. Apparently, when it comes to a certain "back-seat driver", I would react in a not-so-patient way. After hearing two different people comment on my lack of patience, I asked my adult daughter and her friend to be honest and tell me if they thought that I had a problem.
I was surprised at their answer. People saw what I didn't, so the "plank" in my eye could also be called impatience. All along, I thought that my husband was being impatient with my driving.
Well, again, I went to God in prayer and asked for His forgiveness and help. This poem followed after spending time with my Saviour.
- Short Fuse
I've got a short fuse I've been told,
Yes, from young to friends of old.
So, Lord, please give me a longer fuse.
Give me the right reaction to use.
They have fuses too, can't they see?
But I am only in control of me.
With Your constant help, I am sure,
Past mistakes will be a blur,
For today is a brand-new start.
Take complete control of this heart,
Then happier we all will be
With this longer fuse you've given me.
If this seems to be an issue that you have experienced, I can assure you that it was beneficial for me to confess it to God and ask for His help. In fact, I felt the differences, and others saw the differences. I saw things differently!
Do you know of anyone with a short fuse? God can help with extensions!
Prayer: Heavenly Father, please help us to see people and experiences through Your eyes before we react. Help us to rely on Your promises and Your words, such as "patience", "slow to anger", "compassion", and so on. Thank You, heavenly Father, for the peace and joy that You give when we do what we are supposed to do. Amen.