To the faithful you show yourself faithful; to those with integrity you show integrity. To the pure you show yourself pure, but to the wicked you show yourself hostile. You rescue those who are humble, but you humiliate the proud.There's something about this passage that struck me enough a couple of years ago to write this question in the margin of my bible: "My character determines how I see God?"
- Psalm 18:25-27, nlt
I notice the way people interact, and in particular I notice how folks judge each other. That's right, I judge those who judge. I find myself looking for the right right thing or the right wrong thing in people who I feel are judgmental and unmerciful. I do the very thing I see others doing; my character flaw at least lays a path for itself by looking at its own reflection in others. A gossip can tell you all about the people who gossip (they hang out together - where else do you get the latest news?). Someone wondering about divorce will look for "wise counsel" from others who've gone through divorce (why not look for someone with a good marriage? I don't get it). Folks finding fault with the church will hang out with other folks finding fault with the church, until there's a full powwow of people who've got a collective angst with no truly positive outcome in sight.
So if I'm having a problem with something, maybe I'm feeding the problem by living the problem. If I think God's being harsh, maybe it's because I'm being harsh. If I feel like God is absent, maybe it's me who's been moving away. If, on the other hand, I begin to feel His quiet reassurance, maybe it's due to His hand in my life to make me calm and confident by His grace. If I find Him wise and His guidance sure, perhaps it is another gift that He is drawing me to Himself and I'm finally listening.