Dirty Windows or Blurred Vision?

I read a story about a business owner who constantly complained about the dirty windows of his competitor’s store, directly across the street from his own. Perhaps it was just his pet peeve, but the store owner complained continually to other business owners in the community about how his competitor’s dirty windows were a disgrace to the community, and how it could reflect poorly on his own business.Another local shopkeeper, tired of hearing the owner’s ongoing complaints, suggested that he set a good example and wash his own store windows. The store owner took the shopkeeper’s advice and washed his own windows. The following day, the two met for coffee and the store owner, remarked, “You were right. It worked! As soon as I washed my windows, my competitor must have washed their store windows also! This morning I noticed from my store that they were clean and shining!”

The store owner had simply suffered from blurred vision. He judged his competitor wrongly! When he cleaned the windows of his own store, he was able to see that his competitor’s windows were also clean!

Sometimes, we look at others with blurred vision. We see things in other people’s lives that we don’t think are right or acceptable and find fault with them. We judge them. Sometimes, like the store owner, we complain to others about the faults we think we see. But, too often when we find fault in others it is simply because our own vision is blurry. I know, for example, when I find fault in others it is often regarding issues I have in my own life. I find that I have a tendency to project real faults in myself – onto others – who most likely don’t have those faults at all.

Today, when you are tempted to judge or complain about someone, take a moment first to see if it is only your own vision that is blurred. (DJS)

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Advantages of Accountability

Far too often, people turn a good situation into slavery by ignoring wise boundaries of personal freedom. A godly accountability partner can help you enjoy privilege without abusing it. The benefits are plentiful:

Clearer direction. Honesty about faults and failures will open you to receive right counsel and encouragement. This process will increase your potential to do and become all that God has in mind for you.

Increased integrity. If you have to give an account to somebody, you’ll be honest and transparent. Even when the truth hurts, the result is heightened integrity.

Better stewardship. Accounting for the way you use money, time, or talent makes you careful not to waste those resources.

Protection against excess. An accountability partner keeps us balanced and guards us from taking liberties.

Healthy self-examination. Another person can often point out what we cannot see in ourselves. When we allow someone to be an accurate mirror of our faults, we’re in a better position to make improvements.

Safeguard against unwise relationships. If you have to give an account of where you go and which people you spend time with, you’ll be more likely to avoid problematic places and relationships.

Unbridled freedom may seem like a great blessing, but it can be a recipe for disaster. Do you give account to anybody for the way you handle money, time, and relationships? If not, consider inviting a trustworthy friend to fill that role. Taking this step reveals a heart that longs to grow in a positive and godly way.