Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: GRATE (11/19/15)
TITLE: Irritable Syndrome
By Edmond Ng
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- As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves! (Galatians 5:12 NIV)
Constant chatter and nagging jar the ears and grate on nerves. Such people we have probably known or met before. Loving them is difficult because they annoy us, provoke us bitterly and irritate us. Sometimes, we wish such troublemakers would mutilate themselves because their incessant chatter bothers us day after day.
The Bible records many accounts of people who have been grated on by others. Hannah was provoked bitterly by her rival to irritate her because the LORD had closed her womb. Samson was prodded by Delilah’s nagging day after day until he was sick to death of it. The apostle Paul was greatly annoyed for days by the shouting of a female slave who had a spirit. The Galatia church was faced with agitators whom Paul wished would emasculate themselves (1 Samuel 1:6; Judges 16:16; Acts 16:16-18; Galatians 5:12).
Notwithstanding the fact that we face difficult people all the time, we ought also to examine ourselves to see if we are the cause of agitation to others. Among the many ways to prevent ourselves from irritating others are found in the advice within the following Bible verses:
- Lazy people irritate their employers, like vinegar to the teeth or smoke in the eyes. (Proverbs 10:15 NLT)
And you, fathers, do not irritate your children, but bring them up tenderly with true Christian training and advice. (Ephesians 6:4 WNT)
By God’s amazing grace and love, we can ask Him to give us His same spirit of love. This love does not act rudely or unbecomingly. It does not demand its own way and is not irritable. It does not keep a record of being wronged (1 Corinthians 13:5).
Are we constantly chattering and nagging? Are we lazy at work or frequently telling our kids what they should do? Are we finding it hard to love the unlovable? Are we filled full in the Spirit of God and seeking God’s enablement to grow in love for others?
Like David, let us ask the Lord to test and try us, and to examine our heart and our mind to always be mindful of God’s unfailing love, and live in reliance on His faithfulness (Psalm 26:2-3).
Dear Lord, You know the condition of our heart, how much we can love. You also know how we sometimes react to those who agitate us. Grant us by Your Spirit a heart and spirit to love the way You love, even those who are unlovable by human standards. Remind us to always examine ourselves not to irritate others by our nagging, unceasing chatter or inconsiderate manners, but be mindful of Your unfailing love and faithfulness.
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