Difficult People in Our Lives.
We all have people in our life who we can’t stand.
Someone who rubs us the wrong way, makes us crazy, is our polar opposite and who we would never associate with if we had our way.
It could be a dominating parent, an annoying sibling, an angry boss, a sleazy co-worker, a snobby peer, a self-righteous church member or even a spouse or partner who we no longer get along with.
It can be the way they act, the things they say, their demeanor, their habits, their attitude, their beliefs, the way their chew their food…it could be their very existence!
But for whatever reason, they are in our lives. But why?
Why does God put these difficult people in our lives and why, after much prayer, won’t God change them or remove them from us so we can have some peace and quiet? After all, isn’t God in our life to make our life more pleasant?
I once had a boss who was a nonbeliever whom I had to work closely with who got on my nerves. He was a smooching, smart alec wise guy whose goal in life is take advantage, benefit himself and get ahead at all costs. Everything he did and said was irritating and against all things I believed in. He was offensive and was so proud of the fact. He knew that I didn’t like some of the things he did and he would do them intentionally anyway because he enjoyed that it annoyed me.
As a Christian, I prayed many years for God to help me change my job or change him. Being around him just made me cynical, uptight and after each day, I just wanted to get away from him.
I even brought him up in prayer meetings as well for many years, but my prayers never seemed to be answered. I had to deal with him.
I asked God why. Why did I have to deal with this person in my life? And God answered me.
He revealed that he and other difficult people are in our lives because we need to learn how to LOVE.
It was then that I realized why Christ came to Earth and had to sacrifice Himself. Because all of us, all of humankind, each of us, refuses to love each other. We are self-centered and demanding that others be as we want them to be.
Jesus came to teach us how to love each other because the world has gone astray from love for Him and each other. The problems of the world all stem from our inability to love God and each other. Everyone wants their own way and in doing so, doesn’t care about anyone else.
We are now a divided country, a divided nation…a divided world.
No one can stand anyone else.
Why are there difficult people in our lives? Because we all must learn how to LOVE.
Jesus teachings were all about loving God and loving our neighbor.
He told us to forgive, to have compassion, not to judge, to pray for those who are against us, to welcome the stranger, to heal and help the sick, the poor and the hungry. To treat others the same way we want others to treat us.
That in everything we do...do it with God's Love.
And the reason why difficult people are not removed from our lives is because these people are specifically assigned to us as spiritual exercises to teach us and help us grow.
They are there to teach us and us to teach them.
As Christians, Jesus requires us to LEARN all that He teaches and what He teaches is LOVE. God's love.
God's Love is the way everything gets fixed!
Instead of turning our hearts and minds off from those people who offend us, God is asking us to pray for them, have patience, respect and think on who they are and forgive them for hurting us. We must look for the good in them and begin to LOVE THEM.
In doing so, we are loving them as Christ loved us.
Were we really such angelic, loving people before Christ touched our hearts and poured His love on us?
In the same way that Jesus loved us despite who we were, He asks us to love each other in the exact same way. With compassion, understanding, forgiveness and grace.
And when we love on others, they know it. They see it. They feel it. And perhaps they will see God in you. This is the way of the Lord.
This is how our hearts will become more like Him, when we shine God's love. And this is how the world can be changed.
Each day, I have to learn to love the people in my life who I have issues with and seek to work things out. If there is a problem in any relationship, I as a Christian must do my best to resolve any issues, through understanding, compromise, patience and love. It isn't just the other person who has to change but I have to do my part of making a negative situation positive. To bring God's love as Jesus did for me.
By the way, when I realized I needed to love my boss the same way Christ loved me, my perspective and actions toward him changed.
I tried to understand him, see him as a human being (like me) and forgive him for the hurts he caused me and I looked deep inside myself to see how I had sinned against him. Then I stopped saying things I used to say to him and stopped having an attitude towards him that was obvious to him. I started to show him respect and friendship and when I changed, to my surprise, he changed as well and our relationship improved.
All that time that I had spent praying for him to change, I realized that he wasn’t the problem, but it was me. I had to change. It was a lesson I needed to learn. As a nonbeliever, he was not under God, but I was. God kept him in my life because I was the only one who could bring him the message of God's love. God needed me to reach him. God also had many things He wanted me to learn that I could only learn through this experience. And I can attest, I have come out a better person. I still have lots to learn, but I am blessed to know that I at least took a few steps forward.
I am not sure if he is still a nonbeliever or not, but that all had to happen and right after that, God took me out of that job and onto a different journey. A journey that will require even more Love.
It's as if I finally learned my lessons and could now move ahead to the next lessons.
So why are there difficult people in our lives?
Because they are assigned to us and us to them by God in His masterful plan to teach us all how to LOVE each other like He loves us. Unconditionally.
© 2017 Edrick
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