Hobo Medium –
“We need to guard first of all against A CRITICAL SPIRIT. It is very easy to find fault with people. It is possible, even with ordinary glasses, to see many things in one another that are not what they ought to be. Then some people carry microscopes fine enough to reveal a million animalcules in a drop of water, and with these, they can find countless blemishes in the character and conduct even of the most saintly dwellers on the earth. There are some who are always watching for slights and grievances. They are suspicious of the motives and intentions of others. They are always imagining offences, even where none were most remotely intended. This habit is directly at variance with the law of love, which thinks no evil.
We turn to the Pattern. Does Christ look upon us sharply, critically, suspiciously? He sees every infirmity in us, but it is as though He did not see it. His love overlooks it. He throws a veil over our faults. He continues to pour His own love upon us in spite of all our blemishes and our ill-treatment of Him. The law of Christian forbearance requires the same in us. We must not keep our selfish suspicions ever on the watch-tower or at the windows, looking out for neglects, discourtesies, wrongs, or grievances of any kind. We must not be hasty to think evil of others. We had better be blind, not perceiving at all the seeming rudeness or insult. It is well not to hear all that is said, or, if hear we must, to be as though we heard not.Many bitter quarrels have grown out of an IMAGINED slights, many out of an utter misconception, or perchance from the misrepresentation of some wretched gossip-monger. Had a few moments been given to ascertain the truth, there had never been any occasion for ill-feeling.
We should seek to know the MOTIVE also which prompts the apparent grievance. In many cases, the cause of our grievance is utterly unintentional, chargeable to nothing worse than thoughtlessness—possibly meant even for kindness. It is never fair to judge men by every word they speak or everything they do in the excitement and amid the irritations of busy daily life. Many a gruff man carries a good heart and a sincere friendship under his coarse manner. The best does not always come to the surface. We should never, therefore, hastily imagine evil intention in others. Nor should we allow ourselves to be easily persuaded that our companions or friends meant to treat us unkindly. A disposition to look favorably upon the conduct of our fellow-men is a wonderful absorber of the frictions of life.
Then there are always cases of real injustice. There are rudenesses and wrongs, which we cannot regard as merely imaginary or as misconceptions. They proceed from bad temperament or from jealousy or malice, and are very hard to bear. Kindness is repaid with unkindness. We find impatience and petulance in our best friends. There are countless things every day in our associations with others, which tend to vex or irritate us.
Here is room for the fullest exercise of that divinely-beautiful love which covers a multitude of sins in others. We seek to make every possible excuse for the neglect or rudeness or wrong. Perhaps our friend is carrying some perplexing care or some great burden today. Something may be going wrong in his business or at his home. Or it may be his unstrung nerves that make him so thoughtless and inconsiderate. Or his bad health may be the cause. A large-hearted spirit will always seek to find some palliation at least for the apparent wrong.”
Compose is defined as a calmness in a persons trait. I would like to say I had learned to maintain my composure, but there are times when I have lost it. To my way thinking, I don’t like to be wronged. When something should be mine and it isn’t mine, such as a turn, can cause friction. I have to take the time to forgive those around me because they are busy and I am not.
Me and my siblings are still growing up, but when the oldest of the kids were much younger there was a time of great conflict in this now mostly peaceful household. At the time conflict would break out at the drop of a hat, as I was usually involved things would get loud. I think we screamed ourselves hoarse on an occasion or two (I remember that once the other person had gotten so worked up that person couldn’t breathe, I think I felt both scared and mad because I wasn’t making that much drama or getting attention).
Then I started seeing a pattern. I would always have to say that I was sorry, it was never the other way around. In fact, that’s what didn’t make sense. I couldn’t always be wrong, it just wasn’t possible. In another argument I realized how pointless it all was and actually laughed. It wasn’t easy, but I stopped participating in the fighting. Soon my sibling saw how pointless it was to attempt to start a fight because I wouldn’t argue or scream.
I would like to say from that moment on I never lost my composure, but I sometimes forget how difficult it was to get it in the first place. Every so often, I’ll have to put up with being pushed out of another’s way. I can either choose to push back and make the most of my time or to let the rest of my time go. I can choose to fight and lose that hard-earned composure or to keep that composure. It’s difficult to know when I should fight back or pretty much allow myself to get walked over. It’s my shortcomming in that I don’t keep it as often as I would like.