On Monday, my little one year old spilled over half a gallon of white paint on our carpet downstairs...blue carpet. I scrubbed for 3 hours. It's better, but not perfect. But, I learned something.
My husband and I were both able to handle it better than usual and I didn't feel as if I had to be perfect. For a perfectionist, that's hard.
But, because I didn't feel I had to be perfect, it was easier to accept others and love them as they are too. Not because I ever haven't wanted to accept them the way they are, but in my humanness, I haven't always understood people.
And I can't admit this without exposing my sin, but I suppose that's important. I always thought this was something other people did, but this week, I discovered that I've done it too. I realized that at times when I've felt criticized, I have returned that treatment by being critical of the people who indirectly made me feel that way. It isn't right and I am certain that it has not pleased the Lord.
It is a narrow road--the path that leads to God. I think I've always been taught that you must always be growing in your walk with the Lord that you must be becoming less sinful, in a sense; and that you must be more and more Godly in how you live your life. So, this statement may sound very strange, but I think I need first to learn to accept who I am right now and be okay--to seek a humble heart (but not self loathing), to be thankful that God created me the way I am (but not prideful), and to be content (but not resentful of what my life is not) with my life. And then, I hope I will be able to grow in my walk with the Lord. I suppose, truly, all of those things would be growth, though. But, they aren't what we usually think of as growth. I need to be okay being me, so that I don't feel like I have to be anybody else. I don't have to be an amazing writer, the perfect mom, the perfect housekeeper, always exceptionally fit...I think I just need to be okay. For most of my life, there has been someone comparing me with other people--whether it was another person or me comparing myself to others. But, I need God's help in breaking this cycle and letting these things go.
Then, I will be able to love everyone better. In the NIV Bible, the second greatest commandment is put as "Love your neighbor as yourself." The two are connected, I think. The greatest commandment Jesus gives is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your mind, with all your soul, and with all your strength.
Well, these are just a few thoughts. I have to close and hope that what I've written is coherant. My children have decided that today is not a day for naps and so we shall take a little car ride. Please let me know what you think of what I've shared here. I would like to know.