Pardon Me, But Your Attitude is Showing
Jesus said, “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.” – Matthew 7:3-6
A handsome young man entered the control room of the radio station where I was working.
We exchanged pleasantries, and I learned that he was a well-known radio personality in a distant city. He told me something about his responsibilities there, but he was interested in moving to a new geographical area where he could enjoy skiing, fishing and hunting.
Then he proceeded to bad-mouth our station. “What kind of dump is this place?” he asked. “Whoever heard of putting the transmitter in the middle of the control room? Where are the extra recording studios? You mean to tell me that you have to do all the production when the station is shut down for the night? You guys need to get a life!”
Following his venting, he made his way to the office of the manager to apply for the job our station had advertised. I was hoping against hope this man would not be hired. Fortunately, he wasn’t, even though his credentials were much higher than the man who finally got the job. Little wonder. In retrospect, I probably should have said, “Pardon me, but your attitude is showing.” Think I’m glad I didn’t. I don’t get very excited about working with someone like that.
Years later, in a church where I was pastor, a man came to visit us. Following the service, he stopped to talk to me. He ranted and raved about my sermon not being spiritual enough, and he told me that the leaders of the church were all hypocrites. Then he told me how he and his wife were called to work with the youth of the church and they would like to get started the following week.
I told him that we had some strict procedures for anyone desiring to work with our youth and explained that he would need the approval of the governing board of the church. He told me that was proof of his prior comments.
One of the church leaders overheard the conversation and he said to the man, “Do you know what your problem is? You’re looking for the perfect church. When you find it, once you’re there, it won’t be perfect anymore.” The man never returned, and we were all richer for it.
These two stories are parallels of the story of a lady in my book, The Perils and Parables of Pastor Preechet. She applies for a position as church secretary. She also does her best to set Pastor Preechet straight regarding his testing procedures. Needless to say, she does not get the job.
It is all too easy for any of us to become self-appointed experts. In the church the impression is, “Brother or sister, I’ve got it and you don’t.”
For someone like that, I feel like saying, “Whatever it is, I’m sure glad you’ve got it instead of me.” But then, such a statement says more about my attitude than his.
It is always best to do what Jesus did. Amidst a barrage of criticisms and accusations, He remained silent.