Every one of us has come in contact with somebody that no matter what we do…we can’t please them. Nothing is good in their eyes. They spread their discontent with the world everywhere they go and it spills off on us. No matter how much you compliment them or say something positive, they come back with something negative. It drains the living blood out of you. It is exasperating trying to maintain any kind of relationship with them. What are we supposed to do?
The black cloud they leave behind is difficult to suppress. And, rather than telling them off or ignoring them altogether, God calls us to love them. This person might be a family member, spouse, a friend, co-worker, boss or all of the above! And I know it’s even harder to love a difficult person when you see them everyday. You can brush off the cranky salesperson or telephone rep cause you only have to deal with them for a few minutes.
But, how do you love someone that’s so hard to love when you have to interact with them consistently? Grace. Specifically, God’s grace.
My grandmother taught me when I was young to try to put myself in the next person’s shoes and see the situation through their eyes. For years, her advice helped me especially when I had to work with difficult co-workers. I know from time to time we’ll go through things and we may come across brash. That’s easy to excuse, especially if you know the person’s character and it’s unlike them to be frequently nasty.
However, I’m talking about a consistently nasty, abrasive, ugly personality with the characteristics of bringing anybody down. I know it can be hard to consider this, but could it be that they had a horrendous experience in their life that they haven’t really gotten over? I mean, nobody is born pessimistic and angry.
Whatever the reason for their behavior, trying to understand where their pain is coming from helps a lot with being patient and loving. Praying for the person is essential and really letting them see the Love of Jesus in our life is our best witness. God will grace us to handle these difficulties if we will trust Him.
Now, I will say this…sometimes a person becomes so toxic that there comes a time when you have to separate from them. I never like to do this, but I have in my past. When I realized that I was spending hours everyday trying to encourage a family member for years and nothing ever worked, I had to cut the apron strings. She seemed determined to stay hurt, wounded and I just couldn’t help her, because she didn’t want to help herself.
In my case, The Lord had me to move away and we lost touch. I would pray for her when she came to my mind, but staying in a relationship with her was impossible and it caused undue and extreme stress in my life and sickness in my body. So, my advice is to really pray if you’re in a similar situation and let God lead you as to how you should proceed.
We know that God loves everyone, not their actions and He has a patience none of us truly understands. But, He is able to change the hearts of man if man will allow Him to. Stay encouraged today, God truly understands what’s going on in your life. He will lead you in the right way in all your dealings even when it comes to dealing with impossible people. With us, it’s impossible, with Him, everything is possible.