Learning Patience with Others

Learning Patience with Others

The Bible tells us to deal with our own flaws before we’re so quick to judge another person. Looking at your own flaws first is key to Learning Patience with Others. 

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” Matthew 7:3

The following was written by Heath Kull

I think that we are all fairly adept at looking at kids today and determining the things that need to be altered, dealt with or fixed. Dishonesty, disrespectful attitude and language, laziness, influenced by peers, selfishness, inability to comprehend accountability, tantrums, cheating in school, stealing, etc. are all behaviors and characteristics that we deal with regularly and they tend to wear down our spirit and, eventually, our souls. I am often confused as to why the Bible references all of these things as sawdust or “specks” in their eyes. It has made me wonder; what would qualify as a plank?

Whether we like it or not, we are called to look for the plank in our own eye, sometimes before we look at the sawdust in the kid’s eyes. While some, including the kids, may interpret this to mean that we cannot address the flaws in the kids until we ourselves have become perfect, I don’t think that this is the meaning of the passage. I believe that it is about what we focus on and not necessarily how we address the kid’s issues. For me, anger, resentment, impatience, “colorful” language to express my anger, resentment and impatience and letting others down by not following through on things I’ve committed to are my planks. I look for them as often as I can, but it is not nearly enough. Sometimes, in my worst moments, I will focus on a child’s anger or laziness or dishonesty to make myself feel better about my planks, but those things, according God, are to be seen by me as just some specks of sawdust. It is my job to keep focusing on my planks while taking the time and energy to mercifully and gracefully identify and offer support for dealing with their sawdust.

This has been, by far, the hardest article for me to write. I can’t help but struggle with my own planks while writing about them, but I also want to stay focused on the goal of these messages: to help people understand how we go about helping our staff care for more (and more difficult) children. To that end, it is important for me to make sure that we are focused on our own planks so that we can better handle and deal with their sawdust. If we work hard and end up getting it right, one day they will be the adults looking for their own planks while knowing that their children’s worst behaviors are just sawdust. Hopefully, their children will not need us to help deal with those specks. Hopefully, this will help someone who reads it to be a little more patient, a little more understanding and a little more willing to work hard to clean up a little sawdust for someone that they love.

We do all that we can to help guide and teach parents and guardians in our Parenting and Counseling Sessions at The Ranches. 

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