Have you ever met someone who just rubs you up the wrong way? It’s like everything they say and do just irritates the life out of you? My first instinct is to get as far away from that person as possible. This was until I learnt a valuable lesson and realised that the person bugging me could actually be the exact person I need in my life. Even if you’re not a fan of the Bible it has some pretty cool little nuggets in it and todays blog was inspired by Proverbs 27:17 ‘As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.’
‘Don’t let anyone change you’ is such a popular phrase that I can’t stand it. Why not let people change you? I get that we should keep the fundamental positive thing about our self but if we are all really honest we can have so much stinking thinking and rubbish attitudes that actually hold us back. It takes guts to allow someone in our lives that don’t just agree with everything we do and say. I also realise that sometimes when I get agitated at someone the problem really does not lie with them but with me. In fact what I hate to admit is that sometimes it was a jealousy issue or a lack of patience or grace on my part.
Lets me get really real here for a second and talk about my Marriage because this whole Iron sharpens Iron could not be so true as in mine. I married a strong confident man who is naturally very neat and tidy. He married a strong confident messy wife. When two strong willed individuals decide to join together for life with things they clash on you’re going to have sparks flying from that Iron and not good ones 😉 You would think that being being messy and him being so clean would just be as simple as us both compromising but trust me being opposites on a small issue like cleaning is not confined to that because it all spills out into other areas of our personalities. I felt I was constantly being criticised although that was never his intension and he felt like I did not value our house or even him. We would have massive full blown fights over cleaning. Was I the one at fault for not keeping up to his standards or was he wrong for not easing up a little? The truth of the matter is we both had lessons to learn and sadly they were learnt( and are still being learnt ) the hard way!!! I realise that being orderly makes my life so much easier and that a clean home does help me relax and stay on top of the children’s every day mess. He has learnt that not everyone was brought up like him and that he has to be patient with people and that if the house is not perfect the world won’t end. However we could have went the opposite way. We both could have said enough is enough and decided we no longer matched as a couple. Instead we chose to let Iron sharpen Iron and learn from each other. What a privilege to learn from someone who does not always agree with me and who challenges me to be a better human
Maybe next time when you feel like someone is rubbing you the wrong way you could stop and think about what you could learn from them. When other people tell you that it’s times to quit your marriage or friendship just take a second to reflect on the situation. It may be that the things that you thought were reason to quit may actually be an opportunity for you to grow.