To find fault is easy; to do better may be difficult. Plutarch
The greatest of faults, I should say, is to be conscious of none. Thomas Carlyle
It is the peculiar quality of a fool to perceive the faults of others, and to forget his own. Cicero
If we were to sit down and list all of our know faults, most of us would have a substantial list. If we were brave enough, we could ask our friends and relatives to tell us our faults, and the list would grow in size. We all have faults! Many of them are inconsequential, meaning they are of little or no importance. Many of them are more idiosyncrasies, meaning they are more quirks than faults. Each of us does have some genuine, full-fledged faults. A fault can be everything from a character flaw to a bad habit. They are “thorns” in our sides that prevent us from being our best. They can be “balls and chains” which imprison us and limits our true freedom.
There is a “comfort zone” aspect to reasoning on our faults. We seek “comfort” and acceptance at being imprisoned or handicapped by them. This gives us excuses for our failures and poor performances. Because of our faults we do not expect to do any better. We can excuse ourselves. These are irrational thoughts and actions! One of the keys to overcoming our faults is to first be honest with ourselves. We must admit that they exist. We also must recognize it is easier to offer excuses than doing something to fix them.
It is easier to find fault in others than it is for us to admit to our own. We are rather adept at spotting the faults we know we have in those around us. One of the toughest things about being a parent is encouraging your children to always do things the right way. Our children are extremely conscious of our flaws and are likely to remind us of them while we are trying to correct them of their faults. The adage: “do not do as I do, but do as I say do” tries to keep the focus on them. It is hard to keep them from reminding us of our faults. Our children do not understand why we can focus on their faults when we cannot seem to handle our own.
If we are truly committed to personal growth and development, eliminating or reducing our faults is a high priority. We must commit to methodical, step by step, and committed courses of action. None of this is easy; we work on them a little at a time, making incremental progress every day.
Challenge:. Are you with faults, or faultless? If you are faultless, you can skip this and move on. Be brave, sit down and list your know faults. If really brave, ask others for input. Once you have the list, be prepared! The goal is self-improvement. You must still love and accept yourself for all your good qualities and traits. Make a top ten of things needing improvement. Eliminate these faults and weakness by turning them into your strengths.
Wisdom: The ability to find fault is believed, by some people, to be a sure sign of great wisdom, when, in most cases, it only indicates narrowness of mind and ill nature. James Aughey
Humility and the fear of the Lord bring wealth and honor and life. Proverbs 22.4
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:6
But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Galatians 5:22
In so many ways each of us is our own ugly duckling. We can feel very sorry for ourselves when we look in the mirror and start concentrating on all our faults, weaknesses and imperfections. There is a sense of imprisonment and torment that can be felt when dealing with these feelings. God did not make or intend for us to live this way. We can reach out to Him and He will liberate us and give us new power and strength. He is waiting to help us.
Prayer: Help me to draw the strength and courage from you that I need to overcome being an “ugly duck”.