Friday, November 12, 2010

Dirty laundry

This story was shared by President Monson at the Relief Society General Conference. It has struck me several times, in the last few days, how often we are judged through the eyes of those who see through their own lenses, without the clarity of the Lord's sight. I have had well meaning people express their sympathy for circumstances that they have been told exist, and yet those circumstances are not real.

For the record, my husband and I are not divorcing. I am not having a mental breakdown. I haven't even lost my testimony. There are struggles in my life, but the Lord is my constant strength, and I know that He will provide the way for all things to work for His purposes.

As I am sometimes frustrated with the views of others, I am reminded that I must make sure that I am not judging others. They all have their own struggles. They may have to account for their actions, but not to me. I simply must love all of those around me, even when I find their choices to be destructive, or hurtful to me. I truly am learning to love those who curse me and pray for those who spitefully use me. It isn't easy, but it is what the Lord expects from me.

"A young couple, Lisa and John, moved into a new neighborhood. One morning while they were eating breakfast, Lisa looked out the window and watched her next-door neighbor hanging out her wash.

“That laundry’s not clean!” Lisa exclaimed. “Our neighbor doesn’t know how to get clothes clean!”

John looked on but remained silent.

Every time her neighbor would hang her wash to dry, Lisa would make the same comments.

A few weeks later Lisa was surprised to glance out her window and see a nice, clean wash hanging in her neighbor’s yard. She said to her husband, “Look, John—she’s finally learned how to wash correctly! I wonder how she did it.”

John replied, “Well, dear, I have the answer for you. You’ll be interested to know that I got up early this morning and washed our windows!”

Tonight I’d like to share with you a few thoughts concerning how we view each other. Are we looking through a window which needs cleaning? Are we making judgments when we don’t have all the facts? What do we see when we look at others? What judgments do we make about them?

Said the Savior, “Judge not.”1 He continued, “Why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?”2 Or, to paraphrase, why beholdest thou what you think is dirty laundry at your neighbor’s house but considerest not the soiled window in your own house?

None of us is perfect. I know of no one who would profess to be so. And yet for some reason, despite our own imperfections, we have a tendency to point out those of others. We make judgments concerning their actions or inactions.

There is really no way we can know the heart, the intentions, or the circumstances of someone who might say or do something we find reason to criticize. Thus the commandment: “Judge not.”

If you would like to read the entire talk, you can go here.

1 comment:

Kathy Haynie said...

Yes, that's a good story. A good reminder for me - thanks.