Irritation Turned to Pleasure
I found a personal application for Paul's words, "I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified" (1 Corinthians 2:2). Paul said he had not focused on the Corinthians, but on Christ. I began to examine my relationships by asking, "Is my primary concern in this relationship to please Christ?"
As is usual after God gives an insight, He soon gave me opportunity to apply it. Someone difficult for me to appreciate entered my life, and I was tempted perhaps not to show but to feel irritation. Then the Lord reminded me that here was an opportunity to "know nothing...except Christ."
I quietly lifted my desire to the Lord. "Dear Lord, my only desire in this relationship is that You be pleased with my thoughts about her." God surprised me with plenty of grace to love her.
Paul's words became very practical. My focus was to be on Jesus. What was He thinking about my actions and attitudes? I would resolve to care only that I had His approval!
When we are consumed with a passion to do all for the glory of God, when we are filled with that one desire to please Him and to have His presence be at home within us, what will be the result? Others will see the glory of His presence in our lives!
Jesus, when I focus on pleasing You, You have ways to bring glory to Yourself by turning what would otherwise be irritations into a source of pleasure.
"Then Jesus said to his disciples, 'If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me'" (Matthew 16:24).