When I was about 11 years old, my mother did not ask me to help with getting the table set or cleaning up after a meal. I remember feeling guilty whenever I saw my older sister helping my mom with those tasks. Finally, my mom woke up to the fact that I was indeed old enough—a little too old—not to be included and I found myself by her side thereafter. Much to my dismay!
Even though I originally resisted this (mostly because it was a change that involved work and discomfort), once I began to help my mom, I came to enjoy it. Not only that but I began to feel a sense of importance, inclusion and maturity that would have been lost if I’d remained a “couch potato.” Oh, and that sense of “guilt”? Well, it was kicked to the curb! Hasta la vista, baby!
In the same way, going on a “Plank Hunt” may stir all sorts of excuses in your heart and mind:
- It will be too painful.
- It will disrupt my already stressed marriage or life.
- It will remind me that I’m doing all the work while my spouse “coasts.”
- It will give my spouse more ammo to criticize or even withdraw from me.
- It will require more time than I have to give.
- It will be like opening Pandora’s box and I’ll become overwhelmed by it all.
- It will yada, yada, lame excuse, yada, yada!
I’m not minimizing the pain here, friends. I’m simply saying that these excuses may have grains of truth in them, but more than not, they contain bountiful layers of lies you’ve embraced and that need to be “shot down!”
Letting the Lord examine my heart and point out the “planks” has never been easy. But …
[Tweet “Plank Hunting has been one of the most important keys to improving my life and marriage. “]
The only advantages you and I gain by hanging on to our “planks” are a temporary high, and/or a false sense of comfort or control in the moment.
“Some” of the
disadvantagesdestructive effects are:
- Creates an ever-increasing and insatiable longing for more.
- Can result in my life feeling “controlled” by my character flaw.
- Creates a greater sense of guilt and shame.
- Limits the blessings God brings into my life.
- Damages and/or weakens my self-control.
- Damages and/or weakens my over-all character or integrity.
- Damages and weakens my faith in God.
- Creates a barrier in my relationship with God, my spouse, and everyone else!
[Tweet “You tell me which is less painful—hanging on to your “plank” or letting God remove it?”]
I have developed a “Character Flaws Inventory” for us to prayerfully take and use as a beginning point in this “Plank Hunt.” I have used it myself and with the help of Scripture (using Galatians 5:16-26), I’ll be guiding us through dealing with several of the character flaws mentioned on the test in the weeks to come.
BTW, one of my main character flaws is an “unforgiving/critical spirit.” Rather ironic, I’d say since that’s what I often “teach” about here. Of course, that’s probably why I teach on it so much—I’m teaching and training myself to be more forgiving and compassionate! 😉
If you are brave enough, I’d love to hear what is one character flaw you have in the comments below. That will help me in selecting which character flaws to address in this upcoming series beginning on Wednesday, Sept. 23rd—after my book review and giveaway of Sheila Gregoire’s latest book, 9 Thoughts that Can Change Your Marriage on the 16th.
FYI – I will be out of town next week at a Marriage Ministry Training Conference in Dallas, Texas, but I’m excited to have my good friend, Nannette Elkins guest posting and hosting Wedded Wednesday (the 9th) in my place. I hope you’ll come out and support her in my absence!
[Tweet “Christian bloggers, come and join us at Wedded Wednesday Linkup!”]
What is a character flaw you want to work on in your life or marriage?
What have you gained in your life and marriage after going on a “plank hunt”?
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