I know probably sound like a broken record, but, my good great goodness I love teaching kindergarten physical education classes! I couldn’t teach five year olds all day, that takes a special kind of person, but to have their amazing little personalities for my 30 minutes a day, just completes my days.
I had to chuckle this one day as I sat back and listened to the adorable little munchkins while I was on early morning duty. I was strolling around the playground and then I ran into one of my little gym cuties. I stopped to have a little say to them, and then another boy came along. It was such a funny event that happened next. It might be one of those, “had-to-be-there” times, but I will try and explain it the best of my ability!
These boys were both named Will, but they were in different classes, so they didn’t know each other as well as their classmates. One Will comes running up to the other Will and says, “Hi Fill!” Having a bit of a speech problem, but nothing that is too alarming, just a boy struggling with the W sound. The other Will responds with much disgust, “My name is not Fill, it’s Fill!” At that instant, I knew I was sticking around to hear where this conversation was going!
The other Will looked at him in bewilderment and tried to redeem himself, “That’s what I said! I said, Hi Fill!” and didn’t the other Will rebuked saying, “But my name is not Fill, it’s Fill!” He honestly couldn’t tell the difference in his own sound, but was catching the mistake of the “F” sound made by the other Will.
This conversation went on for quite some time. Both of the Wills could hear that the other Will was not saying his name right, and they would try to correct each other, but neither one was saying it right. It was priceless to watch, and hear, even though it was obviously very frustrating to the Wills!
How many of us are guilty of doing this ourselves? We look at other people’s marriages, and disapprove what other woman put up with, yet we put up with the same issues in our own home, and maybe even worse. Or how many of us look at other people’s spending habits and criticize other people for what they choose to do with their money, yet we squander away our own in different ways too. Have you ever criticized other people’s parenting techniques? What about judging others for the way they choose to live, maybe it is choosing to like the same sex, or choosing a different religion than you.
Whatever the differences are, we are all the same. We all sin, yet we see the sin in others before we see the sin in ourselves. Just like these two Wills. They couldn’t hear themselves pronouncing their own names wrong, but they sure could hear the other Will saying their name wrong. It’s easy to pick the faults of others out, but if we would focus on our own faults and fix ourselves, instead of worrying about what others are doing wrong, we would be in such a better place. John 8:7 reminds us, “And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”” We can’t be throwing stones at sinners, when we are merely a sinner ourselves.
Next time you want to talk to your buddy about how someone you know is doing something wrong in their lives, stop yourself, don’t throw that stone! See if you are pronouncing your own name wrong, before you let that stone fly. Are you doing the same mistake, only in a different way? Chances are–you are! Try turning to the Lord and asking him to point out the areas in your life that you need to fix and channel your energy in that direction. Who cares how other people are pronouncing their own names, get your own pronunciation down pat, and then continue to develop your own speech. See where that takes you!