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Do you have a fly swatter in your life?

Do you have a fly swatter in your life?

Remarkable, but true – God created flies with the ability to recognize a fly swatter.

I figured this out recently, after years of observation. The minute I reach for the fly swatter, the fly disappears. Put it away, the fly comes back.

Studying the theory in my kitchen, it got me thinking – if the tiniest fly has built-in protection, surely God didn’t create me defenseless to being swatted around.

Proverbs 13:20 (NIV) warns us, “He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.”

The verse made me wonder if I recognize “fly swatters.”

I told my husband today, “I do my community service by befriending the unfriendly.”

Sometimes I choose the most unlikable characters and, even when no one else does, I try my best to like them.

I recognize they’re in pain, but if they don’t want to get better, we both get worse. It doesn’t help either that I have pangs of guilt when I don’t like someone. To overcome the feeling, I have to become their friend. Our involvement is made even more complicated because I want to believe they’re being a good companion. At least part of the time, they act the part.

There are Biblical principles that make these relationships even more convincing – the Golden Rule and turning the other cheek.

Thankfully life experiences, as well as friends who are supportive and loving, have offered clarification. They’ve emphasized “Love your neighbor as yourself” is not loving when I feel flattened like a fly. The verse is not about being run over, but about showing the same respect for others as I have for myself.

As for cheek turning, Jesus did this by choice, not out of fear.

So often I let others swat because I’m afraid if I speak up, they won’t like me. I’m afraid if I set limits, I’ll lose whatever it is we have. I’m afraid if I express my opinion, they’ll push to be right and that will trigger my self-doubt and, in turn, my guilt and fear.

All good to know so when I’m feeling afraid, chances are I need to be on the lookout for a fly swatter and check my reaction to him/her.

Have you learned to take care of yourself around difficult people? What steps are you taking?

WRite wHere I’m supposed to be – Dear God, even though I like the fly’s idea – stay away from the fly swatter – difficult people give me a chance to walk through the fear so I’ll finally step up and speak up.

I have something for you!


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