Method for Improving Relationships: Watch out for Splinters!

It feels good to eat biscotti again. I just couldn't touch the things for a while. They're only three or four points in Weight Watchers, but that's half a meal! And who can stop at just one? Being full from eating healthy meals and snacks helps me maintain self-control, and thus, I now get to enjoy a biscotti every now and then. 

As I'm dunking my almond biscotti, I'm wondering how I'm going to tell you about the method that helped me transform my relationships from needy, broken messes to secure and empowered connections. I'll save you the drama and histrionics that went along with my learning to use this method, but I want to impress upon you the effectiveness of it. I know I'm not the only one with the natural ability to see what's wrong with other people. Not only that, I'm really good at thinking up suggestions to make them change to fit my liking. If my closest family and friends could just see their erroneous ways and faulty thinking, then I would be much happier, or so I thought. 

Then, I read, understood, and applied these wise words:

Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, "Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye," when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother's eye.

Not overnight, but through the course of a few years, I stopped carrying around a pair of tweezers I could use to extract pieces of sawdust stuck in others' eyes. It's not that I ignored the specks, the gift of speck-spotting never really goes away, you just learn to manage it. Here are some things I did in order to put this wisdom into action

  • Purposely chose to find and see the good in people, no matter what else they had going on
  • Prayed for other people
  • sought the wisdom of trusted women and shared in confidence my frustration with other people
  • Read scripture and noted when my actions or thoughts did not match God's Word 
  • Asked God to reveal to me the logs in my eyes through reading of the Word or in prayer time
  • Swallowed my pride and took advice from a Christian counselor
I love that the last part of the passage promises that when the logs are out of our eyes, we can then clearly see how to help others. It doesn't say we'll forget about other people's follies, but instead, we'll be equipped to help them in love. 

After applying this method, I experienced the most fruit first, in my marriage, and then, in my friendships. I praise the Lord that I can take God at his Word and claim that scripture is living and active. 

You can read more about this method in Luke 6:41-42.