Before I Criticize

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submitted by R. Patter

Before I engage in the arrogant practice of faultfinding, 
I must first do the following:

1. Pause and be sure my heart is right. 
Do I really want to help or hinder?  Which will I be doing?

2. Examine my own life to see that everything is in order. 
Would I be honest in condemning another while I need correction?

3. Try to put myself in his/her place. 
How would I be doing if I were bearing his/her load?

4. Remember Gods mercy toward me! 
How often have I asked for the mercy of God? 
Should I not extend it to him/her?

5. Consider the benevolence of others. 
My brethren have often borne with me in failure. 
Can I not now bear with him/her?

6. Remember how I was hurt when last criticized. 
How can I delight in inflicting that pain on another?

7. Pray for my brother and myself. 
I need to pray for him that he might overcome, 
and for myself that I might be forgiven for even 
considering sinning against him/her. 
  
8. Go to my brother in humility and love. 
There I can confess my shortcomings and help him see 
the need for repentance in his life.