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People: Gift or Lesson?

A Travel Guide for Life, Faith, and Relationships!


As you may have noticed (at least my mother did), I’ve been through a bit of a rough patch in a few relationships lately. For me, writing is therapeutic, and so I process by prose. For the record, the reason I post my musings is because I know I’m not alone; we all struggle relationally.


No one has ever accused me of being profound, but I am practical, and if my journey can help you work through your relational struggle, then my angst and insights are worth it.


In this recent blog (Hiding in Eden), I wrote that none of us is perfect, but we are challenged to love nonetheless. Last week, I wrote about how our failures in leadership and life can help us to grow (You Failed Me).


Today, I’ll be brief—very brief—with only one thought I want you to consider as you face a new year. Here it is:


Some people come into your life as a blessing. Some come into your life as a lesson.


I have many relational gifts in my life. My wife. My family. My friends. But I also have a good number of people who are “gifts” I’d like to return to the store.


These people annoy me. They frustrate me. They often push my emotional buttons, and I want to scream!  (Don’t worry; it’s not you. If it were you, you wouldn’t be concerned about me.)


Undoubtedly, I am that person to some, as well. I annoy them. I frustrate them. I push their buttons.


So how should you and I view one another? The short answer: as a gift.


Whether someone makes you smile or cringe, and whether you like them or not, people—all people—are a gift. The obvious ones for obvious reasons. The challenging ones because they help us to grow.


In fact, the very-draining-extra-grace-required folks force us to face our human condition (i.e., self-centeredness), and to become more like Jesus. By the way, transformation is God’s ultimate goal for you and me.



So, there you have it: Some people come into your life as a blessing. Some come into your life as a lesson.


Either way, it’s good.


Happy New Year and Happy New You,







With tender humility and quiet patience,

always demonstrate gentleness and generous

love toward one another,

especially toward those who may try your patience.

Ephesians 4:2 (TPT)

Kurt Bubna

Kurt W. Bubna has published seven books, is an internationally recognized blogger, conference and retreat speaker, as well as an experienced life and leadership coach. Bubna has over forty years of experience working with individuals, teams, and a wide variety of business and non-profit organizations.