Tuesday, September 25, 2012


"From the fruit of their lips people are filled with good things, and the work of their hands brings them reward."
~Proverbs 12:14

It's hard to live under a critical eye. You feel as though you never measure up. But it may be even worse for those who constantly look at people and things harshly. Do they see the good there, or just what they think needs fixing?

I cannot remember my grandma ever wearing a scowl on her face. Nor do I recall any critical words pouring forth from her lips. Maybe the genuine goodness she possessed opened her eyes to the goodness in everything and everyone around her. Perhaps it was because she was so content with her own life. She had no need to find fault in others.

The absence of a critical, complaining spirit makes her a wise teacher. And I have much to learn. I cannot control the murmurs, complaints, and critical spirits of others. But I can keep a close watch over my own words, actions, and thoughts. I can follow the advice of Paul to the Philippians, "I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious ~ the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse." This was how my grandma lived.

I can't help but wonder what Grandma would think if she was here, reading over my shoulder. I think she would giggle and say, "That's not me you are talking about?!" At the center of all her goodness was a very humble heart. A poem my grandma wrote makes me wonder if the only thing she struggled to see the goodness in, was herself ~
Within my earthly temple
there's a crowd.
There's one that's humble
One that's proud.
There's one that's brokenhearted
For his sins.
There's one that's unrepented
Sits and grins.
There's one that loves
His neighbor as himself.
And one that cares for nought
But fame and self.
From much perplexing care
I would be free
If I could once determine
Which is me.
~Mary Hughes, aka Grandma

"Good people bring out the good in other people."
~Author Unknown


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