Some people are just really, really, good at subtle manipulation.  Sometimes I think that they have perfected this so well, that they may not even realize that they are doing it.  And I, for one, am helpless when facing this.

I stumble, apologize, feel badly, beat myself up, etc., until I sit with the conversation and reflect on it.  It is only then that I can say, ‘Hey, hold on a second…what just happened here?’

It is especially difficult when the source is someone that is close, someone you love, a family member or a friend.  It happened to me yesterday.

Jesus was so acutely aware of this behavior.  He always had a way of turning things around, in a loving and direct way.  He held a mirror that reflected the behavior back at the person involved.  And in response, the person either saw their false selves or the reflected light was too bright and they had to walk away.

Today I pray for the courage to love this person enough to continue a difficult conversation.  I pray that in all humility, I can express my feelings.  I can only do this if I love both the other and myself. 

Today I pray for Christ’s wisdom, courage and strength!