God kept remembering that they were just flesh, just breath that passes and doesn’t come back. –Psalm 78:39
Have you ever encountered people in your life who you just didn’t like, who irritated you? We all have, of course. They are the ones who ping your internal radar with a warning to avoid them if possible.
Why do they upset us? Because of their views, or how they express them? Because they’re different from us? Because of something they’ve done in the past?
The most natural response in the world is to isolate yourself from them. The blood pressure stays in the normal range that way. But is that the Christian response?
God has all the reasons in the world to be frustrated with us. But, instead of justifiable anger, God expressed remarkable patience. The Lord “kept remembering that [we] were just flesh.”
It’s like God looks at us from a different angle, in a different light. We no longer appear one-dimensional. Rather, we are all fragile, mortal, flawed, “just breath that passes.”
I wonder if the ones who irritate us might be the very ones who could help us grow into Christ’s likeness. Could we have the grace to suspend our judgments and simply imagine them differently? What experiences have shaped them to make them who they are? What pain are they hiding? What hurt did they have as children? What tenderness have they shown, that’s hard to see?
We don’t need to give in to the divisiveness around us, encouraging us to point fingers and keep our distance. We need to give in to the Gospel that encourages us to see in even our enemy a path toward wholeness.