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"Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered." Matthew 21: 19

Words are powerful and can cause great harm. Have you ever made a snap judgement, a poor decision, or caused hurt or harm to another without intending to? Of course you have, we all have. We are really good at being really bad. So, if we are filled with regrets for decisions, words, and actions we've made, why is it so hard for us to forgive others? Because, we don't even let ourselves off the hook. We say things like, "I'm my own worst critic," or "I get myself into these bad situations," to explain our imperfections.

I even have a saying at work, "I'm an idiot," which makes everyone around me laugh. The truth is the reason I say, "I'm an idiot," is not for self-criticism, but to remain humble and to keep my imperfections at the front of my mind. I do this so I won't become proud and that I may be able to show grace to other people's imperfections.

Benjamin Franklin once said he was going to try to not be proud, but even in his effort to not be proud, he found he was proud of the effort and so failed even in this. Therefore, he realized that it's our imperfections that make us incapable of not being proud. Well known speaker and author Patsy Clairmont wrote a book called, "Cracked Pots," and talks about how we are all "broken" because of our sinful imperfections. The Bible says it this way,

"All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23.

The Japanese have a tradition that I love; They take broken pots and fill them with precious metals and jewels and beautify (like in the photo) what would otherwise been thrown away. They call this, "Honoring the imperfections." In my practice, I take what others see as their "problems" and help them turn the negative into a positive strength. A woman recently said she felt "judged" by others who told her she was "intimidating." I showed her that she had a strength (leadership), but she was wielding this strength inappropriately, "Like a soldier who doesn't know how to use a sword." With proper training, the soldier is able to use his tool to protect others. She too could learn how to "use" her leadership ability to encourage and help others. We were able to change her "imperfections" into something honorable. You too can be transformed from brokenness to wholeness:

"This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person.

The old life is gone; a new life has begun!"

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT)

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