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Thorns-in-the-flesh! (09/09/2007)
From: David Foss

Galesville, Wis.

All of us can probably think of someone who agitated us in the past, of someone who recently agitates us because of his or her hatefulness. What should be our response toward those who say unkind or untruthful things about us because they hate us? Should we lie awake at night drumming up some nasty remarks that we could say to these people or poke needles into look-alike voodoo dolls? Are we to waste time thinking of ways we could repay or get even with a hate-filled individual? Should we try to sleight of hand the person into a state of nonexistence?

What causes people to hate those who are good? Couldn't good people just ask them? After all, are they just going to say, "We don't know?" We could make an assumption as to why they don't like good people, but assumptions are usually wrong.

Hatred might never end if no one confronts hate-filled individuals - excluding terrorists and those who may never listen to reason. Of course, we can still offer some dialogue with them and let them know that we love them and are praying for them. We can explain to everyone that we sincerely want to rectify this hateful attitude and will harbor no ill feelings toward these people...that we intend to work earnestly at bringing a permanent cease fire from such hostilities. Remember, God has a way that we can remove any thorn-in-the-flesh - Biblically.

Are those who are an irritant to us of a kindred spirit? Can adobe anything but a female? Those who hate others may not realize their loss of joy and that their hatefulness is also harmful to their health. When we have hatred in our hearts, it is quite obvious that we are not going to be as happy as we could be after we've gone into the devil's camp.

When should we deal with the problem of someone hating us? Should we just do a bit of wizardry and hope that the problem will magically disappear? No. Most problems will not be resolved without some one-on-one involvement by both parties. There is no excuse for any of us to allow hatred to continually fester within our hearts. Even if one party refuses to make amends, at least one party has set a good example by making an attempt at resolvement. Setting a good example can be the catalyst that transforms transgression into virtue.

Can those who hate good folks become ashamed of their hateful conduct? Yes, if we use God's tactic. I Peter 3:14-16 Titus 2:7-8 Those who hate know right from wrong, so they can be freed from Satan's hold, if they so choose.

If everyone would wave goodbye to anger and love the unlovely, then our world would be a much better place on which to live; after all, those who are thorns-in-the-flesh need love and forgiveness too. Everyone can have peace in his or her heart. Praise the Lord! No more thorns-in-the-flesh.

Ponder Proverbs 24:29 Romans 12:17,19 Deuteronomy 32:35 I Thessalonians 5:15



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