Those Who Challenge Us

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People come in all varieties. Not just in appearance, but in personalities. God asks us to love and care for others. All others. It can feel impossible and of course we should never put ourselves in the position of attempting to interact with those who might put us in danger. But, for all others, loving and caring for the rest, well, it can be such a challenge. You might find yourself asking, “You mean everyone? But what about so and so? They are …” and the rest of the description you provide from past experience. They were bossy, they were overbearing, they were rude, they were… and the list goes on. It is hard to truly embrace the phrase, “love and care for everyone.”

But of all of the people you encounter, those friends closest to you may, at times, be the most difficult. It can be very challenging when a close friend or loved one says something that causes you to react with an, “Ouch, that hurt,” or, “I can’t believe he/she said that,” or, “am I really like that?” The verse below says it is easier to have an enemy bother you than a friend.

“For it is not an enemy who taunts me-then I could bear it; it is not an adversary who deals insolently with me-then I could hide from him. But it is you, a man, my equal, my companion, my familiar friend” Psalm 55:12-13

If an enemy or someone you don’t trust says something hurtful it is somehow easier to accept.  You could even choose to avoid the person. But people you see each day may serve to help us become better people. They may hold a mirror up for us to see something that needs our attention.

Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another Proverbs 27:17

When these comments come our way, even if they feel like daggers to our spirit, we should step back and take a look. Is there something I can learn here? Maybe what I said came out the wrong way or perhaps I did not clearly say what I meant to convey. We should therefore be thankful that we have people in our lives to sharpen us, like iron sharpens iron. They are blessings, too.

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