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The Creaky Chair

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 NIV

the creaky chairA writer friend once asked for advice.

As she talked, I heard clinks and clanks in the background. Apparently, she had other things to do while we talked. Later, I remarked to my husband how annoying the conversation had been. I wondered why she could not focus on our conversation. The noises distracted me.

That afternoon, I noticed how my work chair creaked and squeaked every time I shifted. “I need to fix that,” I said. As soon as the words left my mouth, I realized my creaky chair was just as annoying as my friend’s clinking and clanking. I’d neglected to oil the squeaky chair. I thought of how it might have sounded through all my Zoom meetings and phone calls—how the noise might have distracted others.

Isn’t that like human nature? I can recognize others’ flaws and foibles, but I’m often oblivious to mine. During a sermon, I often think of someone else who needs to hear the message. Or when I’m driving, I find fault with drivers who refuse to use their turn signal when I’m just as guilty. And I’m quick to judge when a mom brags about her grandchildren or children.

Jesus tells us to pay attention to our stuff—to the glaring, critical spirit in us. To the caustic judgmental comment slung without thought. Our critical spirits need humbling. Our censoring needs cleansing. My fault-finding spirit needs to take care of its own business.

Through time with Jesus, we can let Him deal with our faults, but this is a never-ending process. This doesn’t mean we never correct someone, but it does mean we do so with grace and humility—and only after we’ve confessed and corrected our own faults.

We all have creaky, squeaky faults that irritate others. But our tender and compassionate God will point them out and gently lead us back into the right relationship with Him.

What are some creaky-chair faults you need to correct?  

(photo courtesy of pixabay.com.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

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Sally Cressman

Sally Cressman and her husband enjoy an easy rhythm in their empty nest. She’d love to connect with you on Instagram at @sacressman, Facebook, or her blog at www.sallycressman.com.