Usually I'm a pretty easy-going type of person. I have an amiable personality and, except for a very limited number of cases, give people the benefit of the doubt and see what's good about them. Lately, I hate to admit, I've been really struggling with two particular people. Everytime I'm around them, all I can see is their faults. Sometimes my mind is bombarded with negative thoughts about them even when they aren't around. Grumble grumble grumble. I really hate it. I don't want to be that way. It isn't Christian, it doesn't really bother them at all, and it really isn't an effective way to be a happy, positive person. I've really tried to forgive and let go, but I haven't been able to figure out how. So I've been doing a lot of pondering and praying. Last week I got an answer. It was one of those times that I knew that it was not my own thought, but was inspiration given to me because I asked and had been striving for it. My epiphany, once realized, was pretty obvious and simple, unless you're an imperfect human being. The answer was to look at these people as if they were my children. Now, unless you're a parent (a good one - there are not-so-good self-centered parents out there) you can only begin to guess how much one person can unconditionally love another (spouses can come really close, but parenthood is different). I can look at my children, and even though I know their faults, weaknesses and the mistakes that they've made what I see is what is great about them. I know their true character and who they're striving to become, and because I love them what I want for them is their success. I want them to learn and grow and overcome their weaknesses and become that truly great person they have the potential to be - and I would do anything I could to help them to achieve that. It's also how I want my children to see each other. It now seems like a no-brainer that that is how God sees us, his children, and that is how he wants us to see and treat each other.
Now come the more difficult part - proving myself ... by actually putting this new perspective into practice - not just when I'm alone, but when I have the "opportunity" to interact with these particular people. I know it's the right thing to do, so I know that God will help me, too, to overcome my weaknesses.