© 2010 • Hillcrest Church of Christ
by Danny Boggs
How do you handle people who irritate you?
God gave oysters and other mollusks a special way to handle irritants. When foreign objects intrude, these shelled creatures mix aragonite or calcite with a glue called conchiolin. The irritating object is coated with layer upon layer of this mixture called nacre. The coating process might take years, but the result is often stunningly beautiful — a pearl.
Again, how do you handle people who irritate you? What did Jesus do? “He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in His mouth. When He was reviled, He did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but continued entrusting Himself to the one who judges justly. He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By His wounds you have been healed” (1 Peter 2:22-24). What did Jesus do when people like us irritated Him with sin? He did not retaliate. He surrounded us with His sacrificial love, turned us to righteous life, and healed us. He made pearls!
Jesus wants us to make pearls, too. With His help, we can. “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” He urged (Matthew 5:44). Could you pray for the person who menaces you, pray that you might be more patient and forgiving, and pray that way again and again? Could you respond with one expression of love or one act of kindness and then make it a habit to act that way toward the person who bothers you? You could make a pearl.
“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21).