Right now, I’m sitting with my foot propped up and ice pressed against my ankle because I injured it, and it is killing me – not the ankle though; the ice. The thing is, ice is the one thing I really need right now, but I feel like pulling my foot away because I can’t stand the temporary discomfort that comes with it.
God often sends “cures” into our lives that are intended to help us deal with our swollen pride, impatience, or anger. Yet we want to pull away from those cures immediately, because they usually come in the form of people who bring out our worst and reveal what’s really inside.
In all likelihood, there’s someone in your life who’s grating on your nerves right now, annoying you, and making you want to reject them. Before you pull away from them, get really still and quiet before the Lord and ask, “God, how are You using this person to locate areas of brokenness in me?”
Until you get some clarity on that, don’t run from what may be a painful cure. Keep getting around that person and see what happens. If you find that you have no control over your dark, negative thoughts and emotions when you’re around them, the sad fact is that the ugliness they’re bringing out of you was already there before they showed up. And chances are, God is just using them to reveal that ugliness and force you to deal with the painful realization that if you’re going to be the person He calls you to be, you’re going to need the Holy Spirit’s power to do it.
It’s a frustrating experience being around someone like that; but it’s a beautiful thing when you stick around, depend on Jesus for grace, and discover that if you’ll humble yourself before God and the other person, God can actually use someone like that to bring out your very best.
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Indeed, I admit I have often blanked annoying people out of pride. Sometimes though, cutting unpleasant people out our lives is the best thing. I remember one bonkers American girl I communicated with over 3 years over Facebook. When I came to my senses and realised how toxic our interactions were, I blocked her. When she realised I had no interest in continued interactions, she responded by mounting a harassment campaign against me, one of my pastors and one of the elders. They responded politely at first, but in the end got sick of her and told her in no uncertain terms not to continue contacting the church. Sometimes, we refuse to continue to interact with people unnecesarily out of pride, whereas other times, we should burn our bridges far sooner!
There are definitely some weird, unsafe people out there whom you need to avoid. For example, I don’t think God is trying to teach a woman a lesson by keeping her in a relationship with an abusive boyfriend. But in the grand scheme of things, we probably reflexively distance ourselves from far too many annoying people whom God intended for our good.
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