Monday, September 1, 2008

Taking off the masks

Last night we went to an open house at a friend-of-a-friend’s who has just bought a house.  Normally I love this kind of thing.  But this man, the Father of the household is someone that I have a hard time not dispising.  I don’t like the way he treats other people - always demeaning while puffing up himself. The whole time there, I was irritated — the new house was really nice, and they had decorated it with Christian icons, etc that seemed to me to say “look at how spiritual this household is”, all the while hearing snippets of conversations where the Father was tearing down others and strutting his pompousity.
On the way home, it spurred a conversation that started with “ugh, I like him less the better I know that family”, and, over time, proceeded to “how shallow and judgemental are we, to spend a whole evening irritated with one man, rather than looking beyond his obvious mask to see how hurting this man must be”.  We are the wrong ones here.  Rather than ask questions to try to get to know why this man is so rude, I avoid him.  Rather than stand up for the person being injured in his conversation, I leave the room.  His wife and daughter are both very sweet - why don’t I get to know them better, and be an encouragement to them?  Because I don’t like the Father.  This is a bad attitude, and I need to change it.
At the same time, Do I wear a similar mask?  Trying to look perfect while mistreating others?  This, too, must not be.  Humble me, Lord, until I can think of others, not just myself and my annoyances and feelings in situations.  Let my world not revolve around me.

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