Stop The Stinkin’ Thinkin’ by Shane Idleman
Of all the tricks of the enemy, of all the things that knock us off course, of all the things that cause division among Christians, being hurt by others is at the top of the list. It’s also the primary reason behind most of the violence in our world. The pain we cause each other is one of the enemy’s primary weapons.
If you’re a leader, being hurt by others (and hurting others), can be a weekly if not daily struggle. Of the times I’ve considered quitting the pastorate, it was always because people hurt me. (For more, listen to my podcast, If You’re Not Hurting — You’re Not Leading).
How much easier it would be to live a quiet life void of conflict. But, as we have heard before, “Ships are safest in the harbor but they are not made for the harbor.” The old adage also rings true: “To avoid criticism, say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.” There is no way around it. Conflict is an inescapable part of life.
Increasing Your Spiritual Pain Threshold
The Bible is filled with people being hurt by each other. In Genesis 25, for example, Jacob took advantage of Esau’s appetite and obtained his birthright. Talk about friction in the home!
In Genesis 26:35, when Esau was forty years old, he took two wives who made life difficult for his parents, Isaac and Rebekah. Maybe this is when jokes about mother and father-in-laws began?
We can’t shape character simply by praying for it; forging comes directly from conflict. And the anvil that God uses is often other people.
The key is to allow storms to strengthen your faith and deepen your walk with God as you lean on Him. The more pain you can handle, the more responsibility God may give you. Listed below are ways to increase your spiritual pain threshold: