Scripture(s): Matthew 16:21-26 (NIV)
Here we go. The costumes are away, the leaves are changing, Christmas things fill the stores, you get your turkey and stuffing, all the while making arrangements for holiday family get togethers and they are there. You go to work, the grocery store, the gym, the restaurant and they are there, too. The negative co-worker; the critical neighbor; the manipulative friend; the way too needy family member. Let’s face it, we all have difficult people in our lives. During this series we learn how to live with, survive and love Those Usual Suspects. You really don’t want to do it…but they make you feel guilty until you do what they want you to. You are excited about a new venture in life…then they steal your joy or threaten the relationship if you head that direction. And then, they flatter you all to get you to follow their wishes. Who are they? They are Those Manipulating Ones.
In our journey in life, how do we live with them, love them, be there for them and survive the influence they have on our lives yet, encourage and strengthen them to not be that way, but become who they can be in Christ. What about us? What if we are “those people” or becoming “those manipulating people” how can we truly become who Christ calls us us to be in Him.