Have you ever heard a message clearly meant for someone else? The topic is so applicable to what someone you know struggles with (gossip, complaining, slothfulness, lack of humility, lying, modesty, anger, the list goes on) and you wonder why you were hearing it instead of them.
This happens to me all the time. I hear or read a convicting message and immediately think of someone who really needs to know this information so they can go on without sin in her life. How could I possibly deliver this to said person so she can know the truth? I wonder. Maybe put a link on her facebook page, "I saw this and thought of you." No, too obvious.
It is interesting that God, in his infinite knowledge and power to ordain providence in our lives, would allow us to continue to be subjected to good messages meant for other people.
Or perhaps assigning blame to other people's sin is far easier than confronting our own.
Thinking of another person's sin and wishing she (and she alone) would be convicted and have a life-changing experience, is just another way to meddle instead of dealing with the sin in our own lives.
Oh women, we love to meddle. We love to find faults in others. We love to stir a pot with conflict instead of making peace. Our sin nature has never been so ugly as when we give in to these tendencies.
"Women [should be] worthy of respect,
not malicious talkers but temperate
and trustworthy in everything."
(I Timothy 3:11)
I would suggest that God never puts a message in our path that cannot somehow be applied to our own lives. Whether it is in the form of a God-centered magazine article, a book, a Drops devotional in our email inbox, a pastor's sermon, a particular Bible passage, or an inspiring talk on the radio. God has a message for you to hear. For me to hear. Not to wish upon someone else, hoping for a life-change in them. God desires a life change in each one of us.
I recently dealt with an incredibly difficult person. The conflict had me mentally assigning sins to her that I hoped God would convict her of. The thought, "how can she call herself a Christian?" crossed my mind.
After I calmed down and allowed the Holy Spirit to lend me the peace I craved, this verse came to mind:
He [Jesus] said to them,
"If any one of you is without sin,
let him be the first to throw a stone at her."
Have I not struggled with the same sins as my "incredibly difficult person"? Maybe not to the severity in this particular instance. And my sins may be different, but not less disgusting to God. Sin entangles us all.
"... let us throw off everything that
hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.
And let us run with perseverance
the race marked out for us."
All my wishing and hoping to convict someone else with a powerful blast of truth will not change them. I have no control over another person. I can pray for that person and God can convict and enact change, but ultimately, the only person I have control over is me. Myself. I.
I have the power to listen, be teachable, learn, grow, and change. I do not have to throw the a stone against someone else's sin. I can take each challenge to heart and ask God, "What change do you desire in me?"