The problem is that the other person (be it our spouse, kid, friend) isn’t perfect. They make mistakes.
They’ll do something that is selfish, they’ll be impatient, they’ll have a lack self-control, they’ll be annoying and bad-tempered.
But the problem doesn’t stop there – but in fact it gets compounded.
Instead of trying to resolve the situation, most of the time we respond in the exact same way we’re being treated. If someone is yelling at us, we yell right back.
If someone is being impatient with us, we’re impatient right back. Instead of helping – we become willing participants in our relationship’s demise.
We create a cycle. A downward spiral.
And when this is the norm – that’s when you see unhappy marriages and families.
So what do we do then?
Let’s pose this question – if both of you are sinful and help screw up a relationship, what will work better, you trying to get them to be less sinful, or starting with yourself?
Imagine you trying to pull someone out of a hole. But, how can you get someone out of a hole if you’re right in with them? Or even worse, how you can help them get out of a hole if you’re even further in?
How can you teach them patience if you are more impatient that they? How can you teach love, if you show it less?
How can you get them out of a hole when you actually make the situation worse?
That’s what would happen if we first try to work on fixing their problems. You have to first fix your problems if you have any hope of ministering to theirs.
And therein lies the problem. We’re terrible at self-diagnosis.
We can see the symptoms of our sickness: stress in family, arguments, disobedient kids, our spouse listening to smooth jazz – but it’s much harder to figure out what type of sickness we have.
Is it because of a lack of leadership on our part? Lack of patience? Lack of wisdom, love, self-control?
What are we lacking as a spouse? As parents? As children? As friends?
So what do we do?
This is where it gets hard – because there is one thing well all lack to some extent… humility.
In our humility we need to understand where self-diagnosis fails and where we need to get someone else’s view of us.
And many times that means asking the very person you’re having problems with.
So make a decision to stop the downward spiral, to start getting out of the hole – by first being humble, do a self-diagnosis, and allow other people to diagnose your issues.
Only when you can identify your issues… can you start fix them, improve your relationships, and get yourself out of the hole.
MT 7:3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?  How can you say to your brother, `Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
Take Time To Pray: Ask God for humility in your relationships.
Today’s Fruit of the Spirit: Goodness