I felt slimed.
I had approached the conversation open, available and receptive. The cynical response I received weighed me down and covered me in shame.
I felt suffocated, and I started to backpedal immediately. I gave a lame excuse for my departure and bolted out the door.
Safely in the refuge of my car, I replayed the conversation on the drive home. My mental CD player was stuck in repeat mode, and I couldn’t find the rewind button.
“Don’t let people rent space in your head,” Bruce advised as I vented on the phone.
He was right. My mind was cluttered with condemnation, and I needed to re-program my thinking.
When I got home, I picked up my Bible and found a comfy chair by the window. I spent a few minutes in prayer and listened to worship music. I breathed in God’s grace and remembered I am loved, accepted, and fully forgiven.
Spending time with pesky people can suck the life out of you. Thankfully, I have a God who specializes in bringing life into dark spaces.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve prayed quite a bit about how to deal with the difficult people in my life, and I keep hearing the Holy Spirit say two words:
I am guessing you may have a prickly person in your life as well, and I want you to know I can relate! I am glad God gives us do-overs because I have failed to respond with love many times. But, each new day provides a fresh opportunity for me to love more like Jesus.
4 Ways to Love Pesky People
If you dig into the depths of a pesky person’s story, you will discover an underlying theme of brokenness. Sit quietly and allow them to pour out their pain. When you feel the need to offer platitudes, try to pray through instead.
A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion…If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame. (Proverbs 18:2 & 13, ESV)
The clamor that rises up from the heart of a difficult person is often really a cry for help. Look for ways to wash the dirty feet of a very discouraged individual.
Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay. God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. (I Peter 4:8-10, NLT)
Each person displays a unique beauty that points to God. Consider what God is revealing to you about His character as you interact with someone very different from you.
Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all! (Romans 12:15-16, NLT)
Pray for God to help you respond with His grace in gritty conversations. Fling away pride and persevere in forgiveness.
…Be joyful. Grow to maturity. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you. (II Corinthians 13:11, NLT)
I’ve learned to pray and prepare when I am going to spend time with pesky people. I must suit up with armor on and fill up with the supernatural strength of a God who loves beyond measure.
Loving a pesky person is possible as you press into the power of Jesus.
Are you ready to fire up your faith?
Subscribe so that you don’t miss a thing, and you’ll receive “4 Surefire Ways to Ignite Your Faith” for free.
Have you written something challenging, encouraging, or inspiring lately? Link it up here! For best results, write the title of your post in the name box. 🙂
As a courtesy, please link back to LyliDunbar.com in your post. Grab and share the #FaithOnFire button to spread the word. Use the hashtag #FaithOnFire to share your post and connect on Twitter.
Check back later to see what other GREAT posts have been linked up and find #FaithFuel for your soul. Visit the post immediately before yours and leave an encouraging comment.
I’m finding #FaithFuel at the #FaithonFire #LinkUp. Come share your burning passion with @LyliDunbar & friends!