Bearing Others’ Defects 

An admonition from Thomas à Kempis that should make every one of us feel a little guilty: “What a man cannot amend in himself or others he must bear with patience till God ordains otherwise.”
Do we bear with patience the defects of others? For must of us, the answer is no. 

Instead, “We would willingly have others perfect, and yet we mend not our own defects. We would have others strictly corrected; but we are not willing to be corrected ourselves. The large liberty of others displeases us; and yet we would not be denied anything we asked for. We are willing that others should be bound up by laws, and we suffer not ourselves by any means to be restrained. Thus it is evident how seldom we weigh our neighbor in the same balance with ourselves.”

It seems Thomas à Kempis has accurately characterized the vast majority of men by these pithy yet poignant words.

Something to remember when dealing with others’ defects: “If thou canst not make myself such a one as thou wouldst, how canst thou expect to have another according to thy liking?”

Bear, then, others’ defects patiently, and offer the pains in reperation for the unfathomable pains which we have caused our Heavenly Father. 


2 thoughts on “Bearing Others’ Defects 

  1. Great post. I’ve found I’ve gotten a lot better at this with age. Mostly because I’ve begun to see that what I dislike most in others is that which I dislike most in myself. And it makes me very grateful for the Confessional.

    1. Oh absolutely. It really made me think when he noted how we want everyone else to be perfect, but we struggle to make even the slightest improvement in our own lives. What a brilliant man he was.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s