Be Careful When Pulling Out Weeds

In today’s gospel, the owner of the field tells his servants to let the bad weeds grow together with the good wheat. There is a profound lesson here in how we should deal with people, especially our family members. Here is a tale of two men in dealing with their daughters.

Frank’s oldest daughter was a very hard worker and always was. She was also very kind to people but had a strong tendency to be impatient and critical of people especially family members.  She just didn’t seem to be able to control it and it caused not a small amount of tension in the family.

Jonathan’s youngest daughter was a considerate and kind person. She was so interested in people and truly was a great listener, in fact many people commented how sincerely interested she seemed to be in them. But his daughter was not a very hard worker and frequently she wouldn’t get things done that needed to be tended to, thus letting the family or others down.

As Frank’s daughter became older, Frank began to speak to her more frequently about her impatience and critical spirit. From time to time he would get very angry with her about those defects and found himself constantly harping on her defects not only in his own mind but also to her verbally. Slowly but surely Frank and his daughter grew apart as she grew weary of his constant harping on her defects. “Can’t you even notice anything nice about me, Dad?”

As Jonathan’s daughter became older, Jonathan looked at this defect of his daughter as just one aspect of her personality. Although he did speak to her about it from time to time, he always tried to get her to see why she should change… for her own good and the good of others. Most importantly, he fought off the temptation to harp on her defect and would make sure to tell her how impressed he was with how much genuine attention she treated people.  “Thank you for being a dad who loves me as I am and challenges me to be a better person”, read her Father’s Day note to Jonathan a few years ago.

We all have a tendency to try to pull the “bad weed” habits out of the lives of our family members but sometimes we can damage the “good wheat” of our relationship with them in the process. Let’s try to be like Jonathan.  Speak clearly and honestly to family members about your concerns and then love them unconditionally as they are. Are your family members more apt to say to you “Can’t you even notice anything nice about me?” or “Thank you for being someone who loves me unconditionally as I am and challenges me to be a better person.”?

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