Plank Pullin – Communication Hypocrite

It’s Plank Pullin’ time!  The one day a week that we strongly resolve to ignore the multitude of specks and sawdust around us and pull one bona fide plank from our own eye. Matthew 7:3-5, style.



I am constantly trying to be a facilitator between the Wild Things to get them to speak to each other instead of running to me to mediate.


My days are filled with such phrases as:


“Mom, Three Year Old won’t stop pushing me!”

“Mom, Five Year Old won’t stop shooting my guy!”

“Mom, Ten Year Old won’t let me play with her petshops!”


And my reply, 99% of the time is, “Talk to him/her, sweetie”.


Because 99% of the time the victim hasn’t even tried to communicate with the perpetrator.  They’re just fussing and grunting and being offended without even trying to respectfully have a conversation with the other person.


Keyword: Respectfully.


Because I do make a daily effort to help the Wild Things communicate with each other, we’ve had to talk at great lengths about the difference between respectful communication, condescending communication, and just plain hostile communication.


Left to their own devices, they would lean toward the latter two every. time.


But, I have noticed a marked improvement in the last 6 months since declaring 2011 the year of Respect.   They are, in very direct relation to how much I model a good example for them, learning to to communicate respectfully with each other.  As a parent, it’s like Christmas and Easter rolled into one when I see them seek out reconciliation with each other without tattling running to me first.


Here’s where it (finally) gets all planky.


I don’t practice what I preach.


I nag, and huff, and puff, and pout, and vent … to everyone but my perpetrators.


I run straight past the person of my grievance and tattle to someone who I think will be on my side.  Which usually ends up being my husband.  (You’re welcome, hunny).


Now, I’m both convicted and conflicted about this.  While I don’t think it’s necessarily right for me to always vent to my husband (which essentially ends up being steam blowing gossip), I’m also not convinced that I need to be running to my offenders all the time either.


Which is partly the nonconfrontationalist in me talking.


But really, I’m a big believer in taking a deep breath, and moving on.  Forgiving, forgetting, what-have-you.  Because, meh, confrontation is stressful.  And not usually necessary, I don’t think.  Especially for petty things.


…but then again, I’m also a big believer in just altogether avoiding a person if they cause me to want to tattle too much.


Now, I know that plenty of people out there are going to be less squeamish than me and insist that confronting people to get things out in the open is the healthiest thing to do.  But I’m not convinced in a great deal of cases.  Sure, if it’s really big.  But the small stuff?  The stuff that’s just annoying enough to tattle about?  Meh. *shrugs*


I do, however, think an excellent compromise would be running to God instead of besties to do my venting.  Eliminates the gossip factor.  And would probably be much more productive, to boot.


What do you guys think?

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  1. There are plenty of things that it wouldn’t be productive at all to confront someone over but having someone trusted (husband in this case) to get it off your chest to can help a lot more. I get where you’re coming from but if it makes you feel better I’d definitly classify this as more speck than plank… just my opinion.

    • Jessica says:

      You think so? Like I said convicted yet conflicted. And I guess there’s a balance. It’s one thing to share what’s on your heart, and another to simply mock and bash someone behind their back because you’re frustrated and venting. And I’ve leaned toward the latter often.

  2. Julie Williams says:

    I pulled that plank recently myself and asked for forgiveness from said person i gossiped and was continuously upset about..whew what a relief it was….now for my own plank..
    This came to a head yesterday.. as i am driving out of my neighborhood, listening to my worship music, setting my eyes on God. I see her.. a woman with fish symbols and bumper stickers all over her car window, screaming at a road crew guy because the road is closed yet another day.. i shake my head and think what a horrible witness she is being.. then… God said.. how great of a witness are you. Julie. when you wave your hands about, yell for people to go, cut people off when you are impatient. You see I may not have a Jesus sticker on my car…but GOD knows m y every thought and action.. so out comes the plank! WOOHOO!! I can see clearly again! Yay GOD!!

    • Jessica says:

      Funny how some people are prone to road rage and some aren’t. Drives my husband crazy. Doesn’t bother me at all!

      • Julie Williams says:

        indeed and i am typically not prone to it at all.. at least not to the extreme of this lady.. and i had to admit it bothered me more that she had her christian bumper stickers all over .

  3. Well, I pretty much just tell the one who is tattling (always the girl) to stay away from the perpetrator (the boy) because quite frankly he is very likely to beat the living daylights out of her. That is how I handle it. :(

    • Jessica says:

      Every family is different! On of my Wild Boys has been prone to handle situations similarly, but he’s getting better, I think. <3

  4. I tend to agree with you, Jessica. The only point I’d add is that sometimes I don’t think it’s the worst idea to talk things out with our spouses. This builds intimacy and allows them the opportunity to pray for us in areas of obvious importance. I really think the bigger issue is when we extend the chats to all our friends. Of course, it does depend the tone and purpose in talking. Are we just blowing off steam or are we looking for a way to deal better with the stressor? Certainly we need to examine our hearts and going to God is always a good idea!

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