… you find yourself putting someone down in an effort to be more accepted yourself.
I caught myself doing this at a party this week. I didn’t mention her name, but did vilify her intentions. This was especially awkward since I’ve become super self-critical of my own failures where I was knocking her. My kids just looked at me with wide eyes. We had a pretty good chat about it when we got home.
If you catch me doing this before I catch myself, stop me, please. But it isn’t just a matter of what I say out loud. It’s what I’m thinking that counts. My thinking errors in this case:
- I’m not accepted enough
- I’ll feel more accepted if I seem better than someone else
Pretty silly and insecure and mean of me, yeah?
What’s odd — just hours before this incident I’d been chatting with a friend about a pretty nifty scripture:
And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them. Ether 12:27
Why would we ask the Lord to show us our weaknesses if we’re already pretty sensitive about them? Consider the source of that sensitivity: who are you trying to impress? Who would you be disappointing by finding out what needs to be fixed?
It’s like asking your favorite teacher to go over your homework with you. I guess if your main goal was to impress the teacher or convince yourself and others that you’re already a 4.0 student, then perhaps trying to hide any mistakes, even from yourself, might seem prudent.
But THIS particular teacher sees everything anyway. He knows exactly who we are, and you know what? He loves us anyway. And He’s more than happy to gently point out our blind spots. Not to shame us, but to help us repent and become better.
I wasn’t expecting to be shown one of my weaknesses, but I needed it for sure. Now to work on that acceptance thing. 🙂