Over the past week, both in my personal and my business life, I've been struck by a need to focus on the 'good' and dull my vision to the glaringly obvious faults and hurts in front of me.
Let me explain.
Take a minute to find yourself a piece of white paper and a black marker pen.
Draw a small black dot onto the centre of your paper.
Now hold it up in front of you.
Almost without exception each time you look at it your eyes will automatically be drawn to that one little black sphere on an otherwise clean and unblemished white background.
That's pretty much how most of us look at each other. The black spot, or 'fault', in others will catch our attention more frequently than their better qualities. This is especially common when someone has been hurtful and caused us, or those we love, distress.
In a situation with one of my seven children this week I had to step away in order to lean on God because all I could see before me was the 'fault' and the distress it had caused others. I asked Him to open my eyes to the good in my child, to the extraordinarily difficult things this child has overcome the past few years, and to balance my feelings with grace, mercy, and gratitude for what has been done and what can be done in the future.
This didn't mean that the seriousness of the situation was to be left unaddressed, but it did mean I took my eyes off the black spot and looked at the larger canvas before me.
And you know what I discovered about myself in this time of Divine readjustment?
That this is how I would like others to look at my life.
That they would not just see the black spots which mar the canvas of my life so far, but they would also see a woman who is trying to walk in goodness and grace more and more as the years pass. That as my life canvas becomes a palette of colour and beauty, the black spots will fade...until that wondrous moment when I go home to Glory and see Jesus face to face and the canvas bears no darkness any more.
Love is so very, very great. Love is the exact image of our God and Saviour, He who showed us its redeeming power with the shedding of His own perfect blood.
If He can see past my faults to the very essence of the woman I am trying to be, then by His grace I can do that for my child.
I can even do that for people I do not love as my own...but it all begins with prayer, self-examination, and a heart of gratitude for Who saved me, Who loved me before I loved Him.
Download the printable Scripture card and devotion here.