11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.
12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.
13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me. - Philippians 4:11-13
Yet another place we hide discontent is “who I’m with”. Great misery comes when we live a life believing our joy will come when a significant person in our life changes. We may have a husband who doesn’t love us the way we believe we should be loved, a boss who doesn’t treat us the way we should be treated, a parent who doesn’t care for us the way we should be cared for, a child who doesn’t respect us the way we should be respected, so we pray diligently for a change in that person. The praying isn’t wrong, but the complaining about that person is. That complaining spreads your discontent all over people.
I think it’s important to stop and point out that I am referring to the difficult people in your life, not abusive relationships. If you are in a relationship where someone emotionally, physically, or sexually abuses you, get some help and get out of that relationship.
But if you are in a relationship with a difficult person that you would like to see change, what are you doing while you’re waiting? This is where you’ll find your discontent. Be careful in how you respond - people are watching you live out your life as a believer. Are they seeing loving kindness, grace and mercy, patience and gentleness? Or are they seeing judgment, harshness, bitterness, and a complaining attitude? If the latter seeps out of your mouth in reference to your difficult person, it’s time to get in your knees and confess your sin.
God puts difficult people in our lives to bubble up to the surface areas of our own hearts that need to be refined. Much of our frustration with other people is born out of the expectations we have for how we should be treated. While there is nothing wrong with the desire to be treated respectfully or lovingly, sin enters our hearts when those expectations turn into demands, and when they continue to punishment. We don’t have a right to demand anything, my friends. We are called to love others as He loves us - unconditionally; to forgive others as he forgives us - repeatedly and completely; to show the same grace and mercy to others as He so freely gives to us.
Who has God placed into your life to refine you?
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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