Tonight while loading the dishwasher I noticed my husband had yet again placed bowls on the top rack. I have repetitively asked him to put bowls on the bottom rack because, in my expert opinion, they don’t come out as clean on the top.
I wondered as I worked how I could nicely remind him of my request. My wondering turned into speculation that he probably never even listened when I asked him to do this simple thing. My speculation turned into resentment–how could he neglect to do this one simple thing?
As I moved the bowls from the top to the bottom rack, my brooding thoughts came to a sudden halt as I recalled a few things he’d asked me to do recently that didn’t get done. When I stopped accusing long enough to see both sides of the coin, I realized how much I fall short.
My husband asks me to do small tasks all the time, yet sometimes things aren’t completed the way he asked, and sometimes not at all. It’s not because I didn’t listen, or because I’m intentionally neglecting his requests. Things just fall through the cracks–that’s how life is.
I privately forgave him, as this whole exchange took place silently in my head and heart. The truth is, if I’m going to hold him to a standard of perfection, then he has a right to hold me to that same standard.
So many relationships–of all kinds–end because we allow these silent exchanges to cultivate into a full-blown irreconcilable difference. So many relationships are riddled with drama because we hold others to a much higher standard than we ourselves could ever meet.
I know this won’t be the last time I start down a path of measuring another’s performance by a perfect standard of measurement of my calibration. But I know by the grace of God–and the gift of the Holy Spirit guiding me–next time I’ll be a little quicker to stop and dole out grace instead of judgment. From now on, I’m not going to worry about where the bowls are.
For in the way you judge, you will be judged;
and by your standard of measure,
it will be measured to you.