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by Karen Anderson  
1/20/2013 / Christian Living

I look at my old falling-down fence. The holes in the fence are not big enough for the dogs to get through to the neighbors dog, but it is big enough for them to see each other. They will sit at that hole and have an argument. I envision one insulting the other, and then the onslaught of barking starts until I have to intervene. There are spots where the fence boards have rotted and are leaning forward. If it wasn't for the bushes in front of them, the fence would be on the ground. This is an example of our own lives. What kind of holes do you have in your life's fence? Would you rather criticize someone else's fence with its holes, or are you willing to face your own holes? I know without thinking that sometimes I am quick to show someone else the errors of their ways. The only problem with this; God will then show me that I had my own hole that needed to be fixed first.

Maybe the problem isn't actually a hole, but my attitude. The way I live my life and my attitude is just leaning too far the wrong way. I might be thinking of dabbling in something that is not really acceptable to God. I might think, "I'm not going to do anything wrong, I'm just considering it." That's when my time spent with God (the Holy Spirit) in the morning steps in and says, "WRONG IS WRONGDon't go there. Stand straight up and be counted for God and what He wants for your life."

God's Word says, "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?" I think many times we just don't want to face our own problems. It is so much easier to look elsewhere. I want you, friends, to start taking your issues seriously and don't worry about others problems. God will help them face their holes. Criticism is never the answer; unconditional love and encouragement is the only way. Just make sure that God has dealt with you first. How can you call someone else's kettle black, when yours is burnt? Here is an interesting quote: "God, help me to see what I need to see! What I'm going through is temporary. God is on my side." NOW, go fix your holes!

PASSAGE: Matthew 7:3-4 (NIV)

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