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.


Extending Grace to Others

Be Patient

More Than Helpful

Beware! We Have Many Observers

Harsh Judgments Can Kill One’s Spirit

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The TV was on, and I heard them again. The voices. They’re trying to scare me and seclude me from others.

Suddenly, as we went about minding our business, these voices interrupted our daily lives. They got louder and more persistent. Fear was purposely planted into our hearts, and we were afraid to go outside. We worried about our kids. We began to avoid other people, including our families.

Fear is real and cripples us, but we should not be afraid as other people. We’ll leave this earth on God’s appointed day, but we need not fear death or judgment. Jesus laid down his life for his followers and has given us eternal life. (John 10:27-28)  “ My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.  And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.

Christian friend, God didn’t “give us a spirit of timidity, but of power, love and a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). He also left us with a deep peace that the world cannot offer, so let not your heart be troubled and do not be afraid. Take courage and go share Christ’s love with your neighbor. There is no fear in love because perfect love drives out fear.

And now a word to you who doubt God. Your death will also arrive on it’s appointed day and you do have cause to worry. You will face your Judge alone on that day. Fear him while you have breath and come to him in repentance. Let him bring you life.. He won’t turn you away, and you will have his love forever.

Lord, thank you for conquering death and delivering me from the wrath to come. Give me compassion for others who are ignorant of the truth as I once was. The Spirit reminds me of his power and tells me to go outside. There’s someone I need to talk to about Jesus. Amen.