As I type this message to you, I am thinking a little about people who God has allowed me to meet and interact with throughout my life. Some of those interactions have been pure blessings because I have enjoyed being in relationship with some and others have been mixed blessings because I have found that some people can be hard to interact with no matter how well you might treat them and try to love them, let alone like them.
I would imagine that as you read those words, some of you said, "Amen."
But, I have also found that those mixed blessing interactions in my life have proven to be incredibly beneficial in building up my faith muscles and my love muscles which are so incredibly important in our Christian journey.
Scripture tells us that trials and tribulations come to make us stronger. Well, I do believe you can add difficult people to that list as well.
As we look at the three realms of our life - health, wealth, and relationships - where God reveals to us, the one that is most impactful tends to be our relationships.
Why? Our relationships reveal what God has drawn from our past, is doing in our present, and will be birthed in our future, our eternal future which is the most important time of our lives.
So, basically, it is extremely important that we act right or live right, act righteously or live righteously.
How do we act and live right(ously) especially when we may have to deal with difficult people?
1 Peter 2:12 instructs, "Conduct yourselves honorably among the Gentiles (those not like you), so that, though they (wrongly) malign you as evildoers, they may see your honorable deeds and glorify God when he comes to judge."
Beloved, the key is to understand that you are responsible for you and you are responsible for what you say, what you do, how you say it, and how you do it.
Therefore, why you do what you do and the way you do it is of utmost importance.
If all that you do is for the glory of God, then you should do it in a way that will always honor God. In doing so, you will not be lifting up yourself for small or minor honor. No, you will be lifting God up who deserves all of the praise, glory and honor.
In doing so, even those difficult people, through you, will get a glimpse of God and His glory which may lead them to do the same.
Now, do understand, these mixed blessing interactions have mixed results. Everybody who you show love, kindness and concern to will not respond in kind. Do not be discouraged. Everybody did not follow Jesus; but, that did not stop Jesus from trying to lead everyone to the Heavenly Father.
Some spoke evil about Jesus. So, do not be surprised if others sometimes speak evil of you as you are doing good. Do not be discouraged. See it as prophecy being fulfilled as you seek to do what is right(eous).
But, some people did and do follow Jesus and some people did and do speak well of Jesus.
And, just maybe, one day, when you stand before God and are judged well for having chosen to live right(eously), you may see some of those people who were a part of your mixed blessing interactions receiving a pure blessing as well, all because you chose to live right(eously) before them.
Come out tonight at HOPE Wednesday at 6:30pm as we continue through the Wisdom Literature of God that will help equip you to live more right(eously). Somebody needs for you to well-equipped to help them to also live their best lives. Do not deny yourself and do not deny them. Come and bring someone with you.
And, remember, God loves you and I love you too!