It's All Your Fault
I thought it was about time that I reversed the tables on my wife and blatantly ripped off one of her ideas, touting it as my own. I was lamenting to her yesterday that my volleyball teams were suffering from lack of drive and that some of the players had expressed concern over those who weren't trying as hard. Erika's point was that whenever a group or team is criticized for something assume that it is you who is the most lacking and needs to change. At first this sounds like a recipe for becoming a doormat, always asumming that you are the worst offender, but I think there is merit to it as long as you realize the reason behind it.
The goal of any competitive venture should be improvement should be to improve. Yes, winning is nice, but if it's your only goal you will be sorely disappointed time and time again, especially when you just start into something and everyone else is better than you. Those who can lose and learn and improve will eventually become winners. Those who must win to continue in the effort will quit and lose altogether.
As I thought about Erika's point I began to realize its importance in all aspects of life and, believe or not, I even thought about it in relation to our lives as Christ-imitaters. The part about improving is especially pertinant here as we will always lose in following Christ's example perfectly, but we can always improve and keep ourselves oriented towards Him. Thinking about this in relation to The House, I realized that I do not have this attitude most times and that I can easily point to others who need to pick up the slack or find ways of avoiding criticisms (my own or others') by convincing myself that they are directed to someone else.
It's important for me to point out that I'm not saying we should all look at ourselves as crap, but rather, that adopting this attitude keeps us humble and always improving. It prevents us from keeping score, saying "I'm a better prayerist than thou," or "You're the worst at exhortation." It also ensures that we are moving forward in our lives because none of us are "good enough" at anything, there's no such thing as "good enough", we're never there, there's only good-er (Grammar Nazi Deterrent: I realize this is not proper English, but the alternative was bett-er and I'm not sure that "more bett" really got the point across), deep-er, strong-er, holy-er.
I encourage all of us to adopt the attitude that if something needs to be done or a certain aspect is lacking that you take the initiative and assume that it is you who needs to improve, add, or alter it.