Liberated from Faultfinding
For the glory of God and the encouragement of others I wish to testify against the evil of faultfinding. Soon after the beginning of my Christian experience, about twelve years ago, I was severely harassed by this adversary of my soul. So cunningly were my eyes blinded to my real condition that I was almost overwhelmed at times through the workings of this dangerous influence.
At times I would be almost free from it, but very much of the time I seemed to have a peculiar faculty of finding the mote in the eyes of others and was never aware of the beam in my own eye. I could see so much to pick at in some brethren that there was no time left for me to step aside and occasionally take myself into account and see myself as others saw me. I thought I could conduct some affairs over which others had charge, so much better than they were being conducted, that I was at times uncomfortable because I did not have a chance to show what I could do. It is needless to say that during the time that I was a prey to this wicked spirit, I had little, if any, spiritual life; but I tried to convince myself that I was doing quite well. There was, however, a blank or a real lack in my Christian life, because I had not learned to be an ideal Christian in humility before God and meekness towards my fellow men.
As soon as I passed through enough sad experiences to make me the happy possessor of a willing spirit, I began to realize that I was learning the necessary lessons and through these trials and tribulations I began to have a little understanding of the cause and root of my trouble.
There were three happenings that aided in awakening me to my need. The first one was a few years ago, when I received from a brother a letter in which he said, “Brother, you need continuity.” That reproof found its place in my heart, and the first seed was sown toward a harvest of willingness. Although it brought no immediate results, yet it stayed by me and was very prominent before me many times.
The second lesson was brought to me through a sermon. The sister who delivered the sermon related the experience of a brother who had years of difficulty in regard to finding fault with others, and who finally concluded that the trouble was more with him than with those he criticized. I began to see my own case a little clearer, but I did not fully learn the lesson until sometime later.
My third lesson came in the following manner. A brother in whom I had some confidence came to my home and asked for a position, which I secured for him. We admitted him into our home for his comfort as well as for our pleasure spiritually, as we supposed he would be a help to us. It was not long, however, until it seemed there was nothing that escaped his faultfinding. He saw mountains of fault with us and our children. At last I saw in his case a picture of what I myself had done during the past, but I had banished from my life all thoughts of ever again being influenced by such a faultfinding spirit. Never before had I been able to see the picture of my former condition as I saw it when fully manifested in the life of this brother.
Although it had been my desire and no doubt his full intention to do what was right, nevertheless this evil habit, if I may call it such, had gained such a foothold in my life and in his life as to be a hindrance to our own spiritual progress and a stumblingblock in the way of others. This habit of faultfinding by those who are claiming to be children of God has caused them to wander from the true paths of righteousness into forbidden paths, and also to turn many others from the path that leads to everlasting life.
It is with much gratitude to God that I undertake to tell of my deliverance from that great barrier and hindrance to my spiritual progress. When I came to the point where I humbled my heart before the Lord and let Him turn the searchlight upon me, the faults in others were not so great, but mine had seemed to climb mountain high. It was with a determination and positive decision to turn from such things; and the Lord, understanding my intentions in regard to those things, took note of my humility of heart and delivered me, for which I give Him all the praise and glory. May the dear Lord help us all to bear with each other, and forbear complaining, even though it may at times seem necessary. I am sure it will bring about a great measure of the grace of God.