How do you see someone who is being a thorn in your flesh?
I am struck by David’s words in 2 Samuel 16 when Shimei, a relative of Saul, curses him and pelts him with pebbles David, God’s anointed king, could have ordered the man to be imprisoned or killed. But instead, he tells his soldiers to leave him alone because, “It may be the Lord will see my distress and repay me with good for the cursing I am receiving today.” (vs.12) David also indicates that God may have told the man to curse him. Why? My guess would be as a test of humility. The interesting thing is this happened while David was in a low period in his life. His own son was trying to dethrone him and kill him.
Is there someone in your life who just rubs you the wrong way? Maybe it is a neighbor who always complains, a coworker who is a backstabber and gossip, an in-law you just can’t please, or even a member in your church who likes to find fault with every little thing. How will you react? When our tolerance levels are like a rain gauge in a drought, it seems people just get on our nerves more than when our lives are overflowing with happiness. Is it because it is the straw that breaks the camel’s back, or might it be because God is sending us a message to lean on Him a bit more instead of on our own understanding and strength?
Christ came to love the unlovable, which if I am totally honest about it, includes me. Who am I to judge others?
Perhaps the best thing we can do when someone needles us is to take it to God. Maybe He is allowing this person to be like a sticker burr between our toes for a reason.
- Is He using them like a mirror to reflect a sin we have yet to deal with in our own lives? (Remove the log in your eye before you comment about the speck in theirs idea.)
- Is He testing our humbleness, or our faith-strength?
- Is He preparing us to deal with someone ten times worse who is just around the bend that He can see coming into our lives even though we cannot?
True–Christians, in turning the other cheek, are not called to be like wimpy spaghetti noodles and people should be held accountable for their actions. But, Scripture tells us to give thanks to God in all circumstances — that goes for those we just cannot seem to get along with at the moment.
Maybe if we all had the attitude of King David, it would then open the pathways a bit wider to spreading Christ’s message of forgiveness and love.
By Julie Cosgrove
Used by Permission
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