355 – This Is a Test

Everything difficult is a test of your character. Tests reveal our problems, but, more importantly, tests fix our problems. God drives us to a point of impatience in order to grow our ability to be patient. He puts us in circumstances with people where it is difficult to love in order to grow our ability to love. He does the same with forgiveness, joy, peace, charity, selflessness, friendliness, hardihood—all designed to stretch our ability to respond perfectly in every situation.

Don’t ever give up on growing your heart and rising to the challenge. If you do, your progress and growth in life will level-off. Money will start drying up or you’ll have so much money that it crushes your heart and you won’t know what to do—which is a real problem for many who live the shallow life of luxury without happiness. The heart levels off and stops growing once we stop rising to the challenge of difficult situations. Then, love grows cold and we spiral into becoming hateful, bitter people who are always angry, yet can never make the positive difference we so strongly year for.

It never gets easy. Never let your guard down. Just when we start to love in difficult situations, a challenge will come along, sneak up on us, and irritate us to no end. It’s not that we aren’t growing in our ability to love; God just keeps give us more and more difficult challenges to keep us growing.

But, never blame others for your own inability to love. Someone else’s error is a completely different matter from your own level of self-control. Check yourself: One knows that oneself has become angry without just cause when one wants to blame someone else for ones own anger.

Strong rhetoric and outbursts do not necessarily equate to genuine inner anger, but they should be optional. If you can’t say your piece gently—without being sarcastic—then you aren’t justified in saying it angrily.

God can use our unjustly angry words to teach each other. Never discount wrongful wrath as valid instruction. It’s about your own ability to respond to anything in love—not tone or manners—actual, real, love.