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Talking to God about people who bother you

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Every now and then people like John get under my skin and I have to talk to God about them. Conversations go something like this one:   “Okay, Lord.  I need to talk to you about John.” “What seems to be the problem?” “Well, he is.  He is obtuse and he has no peopl…
By Seth Barnes






Every now and then people like John get under my skin and I have to talk to God about them. Conversations go something like this one:
 
“Okay, Lord.  I need to talk to you about John.”

“What seems to be the problem?”

“Well, he is.  He is obtuse and he has no people skills.  He’ll probably never change and I’d just as soon not talk to him anymore. He irritates me.  My mind churns with arguments to use on him.”

“So why are you talking to me about it.  It sounds like you’ve made up your mind.”

“OK, I’m guessing that I’m missing something.”

“And what might that be?”

“John brings a kind of pain to my life.  I mentally grit my teeth and want to refuse to ever talk to him again.”
 

“So if John brings a form of pain to you what is it in you that he’s attacking that’s registering the pain?”

“I don’t know, my intellect?  My need for efficiency?  My concept of how normal civil people should behave?”

“It’s more than that.”

“Alright – I get ticked that he doesn’t agree with me and that he doesn’t respect me.”

“In other words, he offends you.”

“Well, yes, he does a bit.”

“There’s our problem.  You see, I’m the rock of offense.  That’s not John offending you, that’s me.”

“I don’t get it.”

“If there’s something in you that can get offended, it’s certainly not from me. It’s going to get in the way of your grabbing hold of my dream.  So I’m going to use John in your life to tweak your pride until you let loose of your need to be liked and your need to be right.”

“So what are you saying?”

“Here it is: the most difficult person in your life is actually my tool to give you my dream.  That person is what I use to point to more broken stuff in your heart that needs to go to make room for the dream I want to give you.”

“So that means that you’re actually using all the bad bosses and divorced spouses in people’s lives to clear out room in their hearts for your dream?”

“That’s exactly right.  When one shows up, I’m doing heart surgery.”

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