Eventually, all kids reach an age when they know more about driving than you do. In my house it happens around age 4. From the confines of his car seat, Kid Four instructs my every move. I pretend I’m not annoyed at his shouts of correction.
“The wight is not gween, mom!”
(It’s somewhat tolerable when he says it with his “almost-four-year-old articulation.”)
I know full well he uses /f/ when it should be /sp/ but sometimes I can’t help myself, because he is so cute…and ‘assertive.’ When he began to critique my driving one particular morning, I poked the bear. I admit it.
Kid Four: Mom, you’re feeding!
Me: What? I’m feeding?
Kid Four: NO! feeding! Swow down!
Me: I’m feeding?!? (egging him on)
Kid Four: feeeeeeeding! You’re feeding!
Me: Oh! I’m speeding?
Kid Four: yeth.
I was amused by his inability to pronounce the word correctly, coupled with his irritation that I was not saying it properly. A familiar quote from my pastor pricked my heart. We judge others by their actions and we tend to judge ourselves by our intentions.
How many times have I become irritated by something done to me yet I excuse my own actions because I intended to do good? Kid Four knew I was saying the word incorrectly with no regard for how he said it. His irritation was completely focused on my error.
I have a tendency to do the same thing to others. I can hold people to a higher standard than I’m willing to live up to myself. For the follower of Christ, the double standard divides relationships and weakens the body of believers. The only acceptable standard for us is Christ, alone – not merely the good intentions of our sinful, human mind. The Holy Spirit enables us to live it out and empowers us to extend grace to others.
Father, let me not be a woman who sees only the fault in others and ignores my own shortcomings. I want my actions to mirror the posture of a heart surrendered to You.