Do you have a family member, boss or co-worker or maybe even a friend who irritates you by pointing out some shortcoming in your life more than once?
Like sisters often do, my sister and I share freely with each other, areas we think the other needs to change. 🙂 Recently my sister said that I irritated her when I pointed out a certain shortcoming. I considered her complaint and said, “Well, why didn’t you say something before?”
Her reply intrigued me, “Because I thought maybe you were assigned by God to help me see something in that area of my life.”
Her response stunned me with its wisdom. Sometimes when people irritate us with their observations, it’s because that is an area we need to take a look at. If we receive the criticism, it can be an invitation to grow stronger in a weak area.
It took some humility to admit it. This is not always easy. Even though I didn’t necessarily like it, I began to take some of her advice and pay more attention to how I could change that behavior.
Sometimes when people irritate us, nag us or point things out, ask yourself, “Is this something I need to look at? Is this an area I need to grow or change?”
We may not like the way they give it to us and they may not be right in the way they say it. However, if we swallow our pride and look at ourselves, we may be able to grow and become a better, stronger, more mature person.
I’m not talking about someone who is just being mean or manipulative. That is toxic and you need to either stand up to it or get away from it. However, those closest to us often see things we either don’t see or don’t want to face. If we shut our ears to them or remove them from our life, we may miss the much-needed wisdom to grow.
Next time someone irritates you, ask, “Do they have a purpose in my life?” Ask, “How can I grow through this? What can I learn?”
“As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17 (NIV)
What has been your experience? What questions do you have? How can I support you in resolving your relationship issues?