There’s a type of whelk called an oyster drill whose favourite food is oysters. As their name suggests, they have a sharp proboscis that they use like a drill. Little by little, the whelk bores a tiny hole in the oyster’s shell until it gets to the soft part of the oyster, then digests and devours the flesh through the hole, leaving an empty, seemingly intact shell behind. We can meet people who are like that whelk. People who are always negative, who have angry, unreasonable outbursts, or who constantly make critical remarks can chip away at our self-worth, leaving us feel emotionally drained. If we’re not careful, we can become so irritated by them that we allow anger and bitterness to take over our thoughts. Anger can be very destructive, and can lead use to feel tense, anxious, and depressed. That’s not how God wants us to live. Jesus said: ‘I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full’ (John 10:10 NIV). The Bible says, ‘Don’t befriend angry people or associate with hot-tempered people, or you will learn to be like them and endanger your soul’ (Proverbs 22:24-25 NLT). We should try to avoid being too close to people who are continually negative or habitually angry at life, as well as those who seem to enjoy putting others down. That doesn’t mean we can ignore them or that we shouldn’t try to help them and show them God’s love. But if we find we’re losing our joy after spending time with them, it might be wise to keep them at a distance and ask God to change their hearts and bring them His joy.
Do you know someone who’s constantly angry, or who leaves you feeling drained after you’ve spent time with them? Set aside some time today to pray for them and ask God to help them work through their anger, bitterness, or negativity.
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