As many of you know, Amy & I have the perfect marriage. It has always been rainbows and alive with the light of a million fairies. YEAH RIGHT!
No, the truth is we’ve had a 14+ year marriage that has been all over the map. Figuratively and literally, haha. We have experienced many joys, but we have also experienced (and sometimes created) many heartbreaking, trust eroding, emotion shattering moments as well. In the midst of the highs and lows, we’ve known one thing to be true: God must be the center of our marriage. That sounds like a trite “Christianese” phrase but it is very true. If we don’t allow Him entrance into every part of us individually and as a couple, we will never walk in the freedom and calling He has for us. At least not to its fullest.
There are a lot of times in life where we sit back and observe other people’s lives and make judgments based on the perspective we have. Why did she do that? Why doesn’t he do this? More often than not, our view of the situation is only a partial view. Sure, we may have “heard the story” from one of the people involved, but that’s just it, only one of the people involved. As they say, every story has two sides.
For some reason we find it very easy to jump in on other people’s lives and pass judgment, offer unsolicited advice, etc. BUT, we almost always hate when they do it to us.
Why are we prone to picking other people apart? Even worse, why do we so often do it behind their backs? It’s not constructive. It’s not healthy. And it’s not helping anyone.
Looking in the mirror is so much a part of our routine we rarely even stop to think about the process. We simply do it to observe our look – how we look to ourselves and how we look to others – as we start the day. Maybe we notice that dark splotch of skin that we want to cover, or that random acne that somehow still manages to pop its way into our lives, or the dark circles that tell everyone how tired we are, or even the cow lick of hair that will only go down with high performance gel. You know, the kind that they use to seal the seams of the space station closed. At any rate, at the end of all of it we get to see where the little imperfections are and adjust to take care of them so that we can look our best.
If we are really being honest, most of us would probably choose to swap out that frequently used bathroom mirror for the Evil Queen’s in Snow White. It’s just more pleasant to have the thing tell us what we want to hear and if it ever comes down to the point where it doesn’t, then we just eliminate the threat. The fact of the matter is that some of the best leaders are those who have learned to see value in and embrace feedback. Feedback is the messages and signals that sometimes only the bravest or even most aloof around us actually dare to communicate. This feedback is invaluable because it actually, like the mirror, exposes something about who we are and how we come across that can build and encourage people, tear them down, or simply create an atmosphere counter to the one we desire to set. Continue reading