Noticing and dwelling on what’s wrong with others will cause problems in even the strongest relationships including between co-workers, neighbors, families and husband and wife.  We can choose between believing the worst about the person which destroys relationships or believing the most generous explanation which allows relationships to grow and last.

A Strong Ancient Role Model

Consider this teaching by a Christian Monk named Dorotheos of Gaza who lived in the 600’s.

I heard of one person that when he came to one of his friends and found the room in disarray and even dirty, he would say to himself: “Blessed is this person, because having deferred his concerns for earthly cares, he has concentrated his mind that much toward Heaven, that he doesn’t even have time to tidy up his room.”

But when he came to another friend’s place and found his room tidy and neat, he would say to himself; “The soul of this person is as clean as his room, and the condition of the room speaks of his soul.”

And he never judged another that he was negligent or proud, but through his kind disposition, saw good in everyone and received benefits from everyone. May the good Lord grant us the same kind disposition, so that we too may receive benefits from everyone and so that we never notice the failings of others.

Prayer Not to Notice the Flaws and Failings of Others:

Dear Lord, please give me the strength and grace not to dwell on the failings of others.

Help me to look for the most generous explanation for their shortcomings.

Help me to develop a kind, nonjudgmental disposition.

Fill my heart with your love and my eyes with your mercy so I might benefit from strong relationships filled with trust and respect.

Help me to look as kindly on the failings of others as you look upon my own failings.