Daily Fenelon > Fault Finding

Fault Finding

It seems that you need a larger heart when dealing with others' shortcomings. Why are you so impatient if people don't correct their faults immediately? Everyone has faults. I know that you cannot help seeing them, nor can you prevent yourself from forming opinions about the motives of those who surround you. If you were perfect, you could deal with the imperfections of others without letting them bother you.

Don't be surprised at the defects in good people. God leaves weakness in all of us. In those who are advanced, the weakness is out of proportion to their otherwise mature life. In a field, a workman may leave a pillar of earth to measure the amount of material removed. God leaves similar pillars within those that He is perfecting.

A person with visible shortcomings can be more spiritually advanced than someone who is free from such defects. "Perfect" people often want to find fault with others for not being perfect Fault-finding, even within yourself, is just soulish enthusiasm. God's way is entirely different. He sometimes allows people to remain deeply flawed in order to keep them from being too satisfied with themselves. It would be easier for them to be corrected of their failings than to feel conquered by their weakness.

People must learn to bear with their own weaknesses as well as the weaknesses of others. Why are you so upset by your neighbors' faults when your own are still uncorrected? Your motives are not entirely pure in wanting to see people perfected for God's glory: People's faults bother you because you are too fussy and hard to please.

You can often help others more by correcting your own faults than theirs. Remember—and you should, because of your own experience—that allowing God to correct your faults is not easy. Be patient with people—wait for God to work with them as He wills.

You need to be more tender-hearted and compassionate toward the faults of others. Let everything that bothers you flow like water under a bridge. Live in the presence of God.