Mustard Seeds

Mustard Seeds

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Imperfect Nature of Man

My dad said something to me recently that stuck. Things tend to stick more when they are true. He told me, "we all have people we don't want to be around, that are hard for us. You just have more. You're pickier." Well, being picky is nothing new for me. But this was a harder one to come to terms with... I don't want to be picky with people!

In my favorite book, Jane Eyre, Jane meets her first friend, Helen Burns. Helen is an older girl at their boarding school who, no matter how wonderful her personality, seems to always be getting in trouble with the teachers. She is too untidy for their tastes. Jane cannot understand why someone whom she loves so dearly, is treated so poorly. When Helen is scolded again for being untidy, Jane gives way to her feelings about the accuser, a teacher names Miss Scatcherd.

"Such is the imperfect nature of man--such spots are there are on the disk of the clearest planet; and eyes like Miss Scatcherd's can only see those minute defects, and are blind to the full brightness of the orb."  -Charlotte Bronte

This is me. I am Miss Scatcherd much more often than I care to admit. Like the verse that talks about the speck and the plank, I too often see the minute defects in a person and miss the brightness of who they are as a whole orb/person. I see a speck in their eye of deficiency, while missing the greatness of who God made them to be. (Not to mention, missing the plank in my own eye in the process of judging others.)

So how do I change my mentality? Become less picky about who I spend my time with or even engage in conversation with? How do I broaden my scope to see the full brightness of people?

A quote from a friend's own journey helped answer some of these questions for me.

"... life will inevitably hand you lemons but God will show you how to make lemonade. Certain people will be the lemons in our life but God will use them to bear enduring fruit in you. And sometimes I am that very lemon and God shows me grace despite my sourness. The only moments that are sweet are the ones in which we allow God to cultivate and sanctify our lives. In a new year of unforeseen lemon, may we be reminded of His sweetness and sovereignty."  -H.W.

When it is not about me, it is much harder to be frustrated. When it is all about God and what He is doing in my life and other's lives, it is much harder to be impatient. When I realize I am a lemon too, it is much harder to be judgmental.

So, a solution? Have a proper perspective. Give grace to myself and others. Remember, lemons serve many purposes (they clean more than just countertops). And... don't be a Miss Scatcherd. She's too picky.

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