Wednesday, March 15, 2017

"Grace Testers"

"And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."  1 Corinthians 12:9

Have you ever been around any of "those people"? You know, the ones you always seem to clash with.  The ones who you just can't please no matter how hard you try.  The ones who are always expecting more from you than you can give.  The ones who just "rub you the wrong way".  They are loud and obnoxious.  They are always criticizing you.  You are convinced that their life's mission is to find new ways of embarrassing you.  They are always right, know everything and can never do any wrong.  They have done it all, no matter what it is.

I think we all encounter people like that.  They may be on our jobs, in our families, in our church or just an acquaintance.  I call them "grace testers".  They test the grace of God that is in you.  They test the influence of God in your life.  They test the Fruit of the Spirit-- your love level, joy, peace, ability to be kind, patience, etc. 

Sometimes we think-- if they weren't in my life it would be easier; if they would change it would be better; if they acted differently I could have some peace.  Well, believe it or not, it is not about them.  It is not about them changing.  It is about you.  That is why they are called "grace testers".  It is to see what is really inside of you.  It is to test your level of grace and the Fruit of the Spirit.  It shows you how much of the grace of God you are walking in.  It shows us how much of the life changing power of Christ resides in us.  It is to see how much like Christ you really are and how much "dross" is in you that needs to be removed.  When we encounter these types of people, it lets us see what is in us.  Am I impatient with them?  Do I get angry with them?  Do I complain about them?  Do I treat them unkindly?  Do I want to hurt them?  Do I want to get even?  Do I want to treat them the same way they treat me?  Or do I let the love of God flow to them?  Do I treat them with kindness and dignity?  Do I pray for them?  Do I try to encourage them in the Lord?  Do I tell them about Jesus and share the gospel with them if they are lost?  Does peace remain in me even in their presence? 

How I react to them is a good indication of what is inside of me that needs to be changed.  I am wanting to see them changed-- perhaps even change them myself-- but it may be me who needs to change.

Have a great day.  It is not always about them.  Sometimes it is about us.  They are just "grace testers".     

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