Topic: Determined to Love [Joyce Meyer Devotional 8 June 2020]

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Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend [to show rage or worthy purpose]. — Proverbs 27:17 (AMPC)

We all have a few people in our lives who are like sandpaper to us; some are like an entire package of sandpaper. Believe it or not, God places them in our lives to smooth off our rough edges. We’re all like diamonds in the rough; we have something incredibly beautiful and valuable underneath the hard, crusty surface of our flesh. When God began to work spiritual maturity in me, He placed several people in my life who were extremely difficult for me to deal with. I thought they needed to change, but God wanted to use them to change me. We need to learn how to deal with all kinds of people and appreciate the ways they’re different from us.

Dave is a great example of this. He can wait a long time for things and never get frustrated, but I want things to happen quickly. He’s quiet and I talk a lot; he likes to play music in the morning, and I like it quiet. I’m sure you have people in your life who are very different than you are, too. Instead of being irritated, or proudly thinking we’re right and they’re wrong, we should do our best to accept them in love, just like Jesus accepts us. We can be determined to love and get along with each other no matter how different our personalities or situations may be. Because when we love the people around us— even the most difficult people— we open ourselves up to learn something God may be trying to teach us. Today, I encourage you to choose to walk in the love of Christ and let Him shape you through the other people He brings into your life.

Prayer Starter: Father, please help me not to stay frustrated with the difficult people in my life. Give me the grace I need to love and accept them right where they are, and to learn what I need to learn in the process. In Jesus’ Name, amen.

From the book Closer to God Each Day – by Joyce Meyer