People: Gift or Lesson?

People: Gift or Lesson?

As you may have noticed (at least my mother did), I’ve been through a bit of a rough patch in a few relationships lately. For me, writing is therapeutic, and so I process by prose. For the record, the reason I post my musings is because I know I’m not alone; we all struggle relationally.

No one has ever accused me of being profound, but I am practical, and if my journey can help you work through your relational struggle, then my angst and insights are worth it.

In this recent blog (Hiding in Eden), I wrote that none of us is perfect, but we are challenged to love nonetheless. Last week, I wrote about how our failures in leadership and life can help us to grow (You Failed Me).

Today, I’ll be brief—very brief—with only one thought I want you to consider as you face a new year. Here it is:

Some people come into your life as a blessing. Some come into your life as a lesson.

I have many relational gifts in my life. My wife. My family. My friends. But I also have a good number of people who are “gifts” I’d like to return to the store.

These people annoy me. They frustrate me. They often push my emotional buttons, and I want to scream! (Don’t worry; it’s not you. If it were you, you wouldn’t be concerned about me.)

Undoubtedly, I am that person to some, as well. I annoy them. I frustrate them. I push their buttons.

So how should you and I view one another? The short answer: as a gift.

Whether someone makes you smile or cringe, and whether you like them or not, people—all people—are a gift. The obvious ones for obvious reasons. The challenging ones because they help us to grow.

In fact, the very-draining-extra-grace-required folks force us to face our human condition (i.e., self-centeredness), and to become more like Jesus. By the way, transformation is God’s ultimate goal for you and me.

So, there you have it: Some people come into your life as a blessing. Some come into your life as a lesson.

Either way, it’s good.

This article originally appeared here.