It’s the little things that can irritate us, like people being late, not following through, or forgetting to do things. Whether we admit it or not, we like people to do things the way we’d do it, see things from our perspective, or follow our logic. But people are different; they’ll do things their own way. I don’t know what sets your irritation button off but let me give you something to think about.
Recently I felt irritated with someone. This was an ongoing area of contention and I just had to bite my tongue. All I could see was the irritant but forgot about their good qualities. As I prayed about it, God gave me the words “window dust”.
Think about cleaning a window. We can get so caught up with the dust and “three fingerprints” on the window, that’s all we see. When we see things from close up, we don’t see the bigger, broader picture. We don’t see the neighbors across the street because we’re focusing so intensely on cleaning the dust and the three fingerprint smudges on the window.
Here’s what this means… and it’s not about cleaning windows! We do this with people too. We see their flaws (smudges) but don’t pay attention to the broader picture of what’s good about them. The irritating little things they do that annoy us are what we want to “scrub clean”, like a fingerprint on a window. We don’t always see how wonderful they are in so many other ways.
You can’t change people! Yes, they will irriate you at times but that doesn’t mean they don’t have super good qualities. Not everyone has to be the same as you. It’s okay if people do things differently than what you’d like. Look at the people in your life. What is the “fingerprint”, the little irritant, you’re focusing on? Yes, it might need to be addressed, but at other times, you just have to pray and wait for God to work. And in your frustation, make sure you’re not failing to see the broader picture and failing to recognize how God is working in their life.
The next time you clean your windows, think about whether you are appreciating people for who they are and seeing the bigger picture, or if you are just focusing on their “window dust” flaws.