By Love Transformed, by R.T. Kendall

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Are You Somebody's Thorn?

As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. —Proverbs 27:17

It is sobering to realize that you may be a thorn in the flesh to someone else. Has it dawned on you that you are another person's problem because of your particular personality? The problem is, of course, yours, but you unfortunately make it somebody else's as well. It may be the person who has to live with you, work with you, or deal with you from time to time. You force that person to have to walk on eggshells around you. He or she loses sleep because of you. How does that make you feel? Well, it sobers me to my fingertips, knowing that I may very well be another person's thorn in the flesh.

Perhaps you are aware of your problem, but you say, "I can't help it. This is who I am." You have prayed about it often. But have you really tried to get help? You are never too old to learn as long as you want your problems solved.

So when you don't have a balanced personality, you have difficulty in getting along with people. You keep sticking your foot in your mouth. You keep rubbing people the wrong way. Only Jesus had the perfect personality. He also has the perfect combination of self-confidence and care for others. That is the ideal person: having the balance of self-confidence, concern, and care for others.

If your personality is your thorn in the flesh, then you should admit it. Be thankful if you can see that you have a problem.

A personality problem is not necessarily sin. It is because you are a sinner that you have it, yes, for nobody is perfect. And yet there is a point at which a personality problem becomes sin: when you excuse it and justify it. If you say, "Well, that's just me," that's when it becomes sin. It is sinful when you excuse yourself and do nothing about it.

Excerpted from The Thorn in the Flesh (Charisma House, 2004).

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