Monday, October 17, 2011

Another lesson I didn't want, but I'll take.

Do you have those people in your life, that you just can't be around? Come on, you know who I'm talking about. Maybe its a smelly guy who works at your gym. Maybe its a person who is always making excuses for not getting a job. Maybe its even someone closer to you than that: and you can't stand them. I'd be lying if I told you I didn't feel that way towards some people. More people than I care to admit.

Have you given up hope on them? Do you and the rest of your family, friends, or coworkers just assume nothing is ever going to change? Do you tend to pray or wish that you don't have to deal with them?

Ah. There we go.

It finally dawned on me this weekend that I've been failing to pray for these people. I had always been so focused on myself, and how these people made me miserable that I never could move beyond my own annoyance, frustration, or anger.

I find it oddly fitting, that after a week of focusing on 1 Thessalonians 5:15-18, that it's verse 14 that hit me over the head:

14 And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone.

I'll be honest. Praying for the people I don't like to be around is much much much harder than praying for people I really enjoy being around. In fact, I'm having a little trouble, but I found this verse to a good start. Verse 14 seems to be a call for us towards those people that bug us. Can you think of a person for each of these? Warn the idle. Encourage the disheartened. Help the weak. Be patient with everyone. Combine this with our command to be prayerful, joyful, and thankful, and it seems clear instructions on how we are to handle those people we just can't handle.

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