I have been rather discouraged lately by some things, and when I say things I mean people, and when I say people I mean friends. :) Nothing big, nothing intentional or malicious, just run of the mill frustrations. Disappointments and down times happen in all relationships-- nothing new under the sun.
Well in a rare moment of spiritual clarity, I realized that my frustrations were probably a ploy from Satan to get me discouraged about ministry and opportunities God wants me to pursue. Then I thought, "but still, that's a hurtful thing of my friends to do..." Then it dawned on me. Satan can use people to get to us.
I'm not accusing anybody of being hell's angels, but I think Satan can and does use good, Christian people to affect us negatively. This may be a more powerful tool than most, because while we may not care what the stranger on the street thinks, a cut from a friend wounds very deeply.
They say that the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and Lord knows I'm guilty of this. So as I'm processing all of this tonight, I decided to stop thinking of my friends and start thinking of myself, and all of the beloved people in my life I am hurting through my good intentions and thoughts that are never acted upon. Who isn't feeling loved because I haven't made that call or sent that email? Am I going to continue to let Satan use me like this?
I'd never thought of it like that before... but I don't think I'm off base. Maybe my good intentions aren't only paving my "road to hell", but driving people I love into the same direction because I'm not following the Spirit's leading on how to show God's love to them. Sins of omission are just as real as any intentional evil.
Especially during this holiday season when many people feel more emotional or vulnerable, let's make the effort to be not only well meaning but acting on our thoughts of kindness.