One of the worst problems you can have is not knowing you have a problem.
This is what we help each other with, in a gentle, loving way, seeking the ultimate good for other.
You need a mirror to know there is spinach (or basil) in your teeth.
Or you need a good friend who will actually tell you that there’s something in your teeth.
Or you need to practice healthy self-examination.
How else would you know?
You’d just go on all day smiling as if you’re perfect while everyone else takes note of, and is affected by, your gross easy-to-do-something-about offense. And the worst is when someone tells you and you don’t listen. You don’t want to hear it.
This is what much of Proverbs is about.
We say “Whatever, I’m fine!” and go around grinning like a green-toothed fool the rest of the day. We’re so easily offended and hurt that we stay in a comfortable state of mediocrity, when we were made for so much more…to be so much more. To grow, mature, create, and be a benefit to everyone around us.
But we’d rather insulate ourselves from feeling any pain. And at what cost to ourselves and our family and friends?
Not until we look in the mirror do we see it. And what is the mirror? The perfect word of God. The Holy Spirit.
When we are willing to listen, and genuinely take a look, that is when we will grow to new levels of being human. Not looking at other people, but looking honestly at ourselves, bare before God.
Excuses are just self-justifications for laziness.
Few excuses are really legitimate. Let’s be honest for a minute. Over the years, for example, I’ve witnessed many people who are chronically late, not just a few minutes, we’re talking rudely late all the time. This is the equivalent of taking a dump on other people’s schedules, assigning them the value of port-o-potty.
And the excuses, oh so priceless, like the one mentioned in this verse>>
“Oh, I heard a lion is on the loose in the streets so I played it safe and stayed inside for a few extra minutes.”
Don’t make excuses. Don’t insult others.
Accept responsibility for your (infra)action, whatever it may be, that you were lazy and unthoughtful. Admit it, and ask for forgiveness.
Human tragedies are not always divine judgements, and it is wrong for us to “play God” and pass judgement on such events.
Much more important than trying to discern why things happen, is making sure your heart is right before God.
Many of us fret so much over other people, that we neglect our own heart and its condition at a very high cost. Wondering about other people and where they stand and why what is happening is happening serves to distract us away from our own soul-care that we all so desperately need–the all important soul-care of placing ourselves at Jesus’ feet and casting ourselves on Him and His perfect, eternal care. This is not a self-absorbed narcissism, but is simply posturing yourself in such a way so as to receive Life from that which is Pure Love, and then overflowing God’s Love and healing onto the world as a result of that indwelling and filling.
Whenever you are tempted to judge why something terrible is happening, or why someone is not behaving as you desire, remember Jesus’s deeply penetrating words to Peter, “What does that have to do with you following Me?”