Why God “Allows” N’s To Wreak Havoc – To Build Our Capacity For Love

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1 Timothy 1:5

But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.

In the middle of our struggles with the N in our lives, we are typically focused on simply surviving the situation.  It seems incredible to think in terms of thriving.  And even more incredible to think in terms of moving past bitterness toward becoming a more loving person ourselves – not just toward the N, but people in general.
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However, God in His goodness toward us is intending to use our struggle to actually build in us a greater capability and capacity for love.  As heaven is a world of love, this capacity for love is not just for this world, but also for the one to come (heaven).   A greater capacity for love is not equivalent to being more of a doormat for your N, but is instead a broad-based foundation for a more meaningful and fruitful life in all its aspects.

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Why God “Allows” N’s to Wreak Havoc – Using Them As Pre-Emptive Constraints

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2 Corinthians 12:7

Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me—to keep me from exalting myself!

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Sometimes, God uses His tools not for “corrective” or “refining” purposes, but for pre-emptive purposes.  In I Corinthians 12:1-10, Paul had done nothing wrong.  The “messenger of satan” was only for the purpose of preventing Paul from exalting himself due to his extraordinary experience.  We as normal humans tend to get puffed up at the slightest “success” we experience – just think of how puffed up we would be if we had had an experience that was many multiples higher than anyone else had ever had.

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Paul needed the revelations that God gave him as part of his ministry preparation, but he also needed to maintain humility for his ministry.  So, God gave Paul the revelations, but also provided via satan a pre-emptive means for staying humble – not out of spite, or meanness, but for Paul’s good and God’s glory. Continue reading