Let’s face it; we all have difficult people in our lives.
So, what exactly do I mean by difficult people?
These are the people in our lives that we do not naturally gravitate toward. In all honesty they are the people that repel us.
Sometimes they are the overly critical people in our lives or the person who incessantly inserts themselves in our business with their unsolicited opinions and suggestions.
Other times they are the people who are impossible to please and for whom nothing is ever good enough, and last but not least there is the control freak.
For some of you I have just described your mother in law, sister, co -worker, neighbor or parent.
I admit, I have difficult people in my life…and NO; I’m not going to name names.
I will also admit that while there are people in my life who are hard for me to be with, the reality is, I am someone’s “difficult person” and that my friends, is humbling.
We like to think that everyone loves us and so we take a myopic approach to life and relationships.
Unfortunately just as one person is not my cup of tea, I also happen to be the black fly in someone else’s proverbial chardonnay.
So what then is our responsibility as the body of Christ?
How do we extend love, kindness and compassion to these difficult people in our lives?
In psychology we refer to this as Unconditional Positive Regard. Said another way, it is treating others the same way you wish to be treated.
I know it’s not revolutionary or profound. But it is a simple truth that when applied can make even the most frustrating relationship palatable when you remind yourself that YOU are also a difficult person.
It is easy to rip someone apart and point out all the things that drive us crazy, mannerisms that annoy us and behaviors that get under our skin.
But think about this…Jesus died for them too. Are they really that different from you and me?
Matthew goes on to talk about how we are hypocritical by pointing out some one else’s shortcomings when we ourselves are but a work in progress.
So the next time you come face to face with your difficult person, remember this little gem; “If you can’t say nuthin nice, don’t say nuthin at all.” Mrs. Rabbit, Bambi the movie.
Grace & Peace ~ Karen