I have four daughters ranging from one year to eleven years old. Needless to say, I deal daily with a healthy amount of drama. Sometimes the forty-five minutes it takes me to get them dressed, out the door and into the car every morning seems like the most tormenting, mind-unraveling, nerve-grating, emotional trauma-train event one human being could ever be asked to endure. All those little personalities interwoven together. All those individual perspectives and all those emotions wrapped up in those individual perspectives. One of the excuses I hear most from my daughters is, “But she’s SO IRRITATING!” And my ever-ready response is, “There will always be irritating people in your life. God is teaching you how to deal with it.”
And so it is, in any given situation, at any given time, we are going to be around people that are irritating. Whether it’s at our job, whether it’s in our family, or even in our church. The devil particularly likes to wreak havoc in the Body of Christ, but God also often uses people that irritate us to test us. God can and will use for our good, what the devil means for our harm. Which means sometimes when you find yourself in a situation where you have all those personalities woven together, with all those individual perspectives and all those emotions wrapped up in those individual perspectives, it could be a test.
Often times God will use other people (and often times it will be particularly irritating people) to refine us in areas which we need growth or maturity. Perhaps it could be a test of perseverance– to have faith that God can overcome not only things within ourselves that need to change, but that He can also overcome things in other people. Perhaps it could be a test of prayer– of whether or not we’re truly going to make the effort to walk-out what it means to be the Body of Christ, which means to pray for each other and to bear each other’s burdens:
–“Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed.” (James 5:16)
–“Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.” (Gal 6:2)
There is a lot of scripture on how we are supposed to interact as the Body of Christ and we all have our particular part. Sometimes we get territorial over our part or critical of other parts, but we are all equally important. Sometimes we tend to get protective over something we feel God has assigned unto us, but we must remember to hold everything loosely because it all belongs to Christ anyway. It doesn’t belong to us and God can move us around wherever He wants to. Sometimes the tighter we hold on to something, the more chance there is that God will put us in a situation to where we are forced to let go and we are humbled.
“Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;” (1 Cor 13:4-6)
“Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.” (1 Thess 5:11)
“For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think… For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.” (Rom 12:4,5)
“No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.” (1 Cor 10:24)