Who Me, Critical?

My memory/meditation verse for this week:

Then let us no more criticize and blame and pass judgment on one another, but rather decide and endeavor never to put a stumbling block or an obstacle or a hindrance in the way of a brother. Romans 14:13 (Amplified Bible)

Sounds easy enough to memorize, right? Yes, that's the easy part...living it, that is not so simple.

Let me tell you, this verse (though in a different translation) "just happened" to pop up in this week's Memorizing Scripture Together email...the week that I'm also attempting a fast of sorts- a fast from being critical. This fast is an exercise from the book our spiritual formation group is reading together- Spiritual Classics by Renovare. Excellent book for practicing spiritual disciplines...but, this week has been tough.

Now, I'm not normally a critical person (at least that's what I thought...sigh). The challenge was to go 1 day (that's it, one day) without saying anything critical. Ha! Any and seemingly everything that could happen which would expose that ugly critical spirit has popped up in the past few days. Yes, I've had to extend my fast, starting over and over and over, since I've failed miserably each day! Let's see...my children have waged outright war on one another, homeschooling has been a battle (working on revamping that whole area of life right now anyway), extended family members have done things that make no sense whatsoever, I went into the kitchen this morning to wash dishes and instead found a punchbowl filled with less-than-lovely water from the leaking drainpipe underneath the sink; and I am still "patiently" waiting for our friend/landlord to bring me the oven igniter that he said he would pick up last Saturday...that I've been waiting for since mid-January......oh, can you feel the potential for some serious criticism here??? I could go on, but then I would just be asking for more grief I do believe.

I know the LORD wants to teach me some very necessary, but painful lessons this week; so I am thankful for the big eye openers...BUT one day's drama would have been enough if you ask me (which in HIS wisdom He didn't). OK...so I need more practice; but if it takes a roll of duct tape, I'm learning this one so I can move on from here!

I shall have to go back to my scripture prayer of a year or so ago:

Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips. Psalm 141:3

Yes, Lord, please do!