In times of sickness or hardships we see what’s in the hearts of some people. God allows certain thorns in the flesh to be used as a gauge to us to indicate where we stand with Him. Sometimes people know our obstacles and we know theirs. We observe their responses and attitudes and they observe ours. When we see a kind heart and a simple prayerful attitude even in adversities, all things point to God. Only God can promote such a heart. God shows His goodness through even the worst of situations to encourage others to face their own.
Unfortunately walking away from some friendships is an act of love. We watch while they have hard luck every way they turn. It’s their way or no way and they will not listen to our counsel or quick words of warning. They know better than any doctor even though they continue to set up appointments. They ask for prayer yet they will not pray themselves. They respond only to sympathy, well wishes and visits. When the visits stop and they talk about feeling better in the hospital it’s time for them to seek the face of God.
When we empathize with them with a quick report how long we endured a similar hardship and how God brought us through and get met with opposition it’s time to move on. Things have a way of becoming debilitating to us if we try to minister and get greeted with a harsh rebuke. Statements like our pain is nothing compared to what they are walking through and other comments that belittle our thorns are nothing to entertain. It’s time to walk. They do not want anything but to be the center of attention and such pride will ultimately bring us down if we continue to entertain such narcissism.
People with this mind set progressively get more self centered and less productive when they are fed with attention. It’s a false sense of encouragement to us to see the smile and hear the laughter of a narcissist when we make him the center of our attention. However we actually take that person one step further to bask in the luxury of attention creating a need in this person for more the next time. These people will never rely on God until they are in a situation where God is the only one available to them.
It seems so harsh but in certain cases our hand ups get treated as hand outs. Only God can offer the type of hand up that can promote them to move up. God will give us discernment to know when stand with someone or walk away. When such a person has become a best friend over the years and God tells us to walk it’s an opportunity to reach for God’s hand up as He makes us stronger.
2 Corinthians 12:10 Living Bible
Since I know it is all for Christ’s good, I am quite happy about “the thorn,” and about insults and hardships, persecutions and difficulties; for when I am weak, then I am strong—the less I have, the more I depend on him.
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