Sometimes people who get under our skin come in the form of the guy who gets your order wrong at Starbucks, or that co-worker who tends to dominate situations. Or maybe it’s that person who sits next to you in class who chews gum in an annoyingly loud way. Or perhaps it’s a family member who never seems to see things from your point of view.
But how do we love these people?
First of all, everyone has someone in their life who drives them up a wall. And if you don’t, you should! Let me tell you why.
The people who drive me the craziest, are the people who teach me the most. I have found that the way that I respond to difficult people, truly reveals my character. If I am short, and respond with no kindness, then I need a self-check. Dealing with these kinds of people really builds into your character. And you never know—if you work through things, this person may become one of your closest friends!
If I have learned anything from people who drive me crazy, it is how to love. Everyone has value, so what would happen if we started asking ourselves what we could learn from each individual person? Lately, my prayer has turned from, “Jesus help me put up with this person,” to, “Jesus, help me see the value in this person.” Guys, it has changed EVERYTHING! It makes an incredible difference when you humble yourself and honestly search for God in each individual soul you come in contact with.
I heard someone say once, “you have never looked into the eyes of a person who does not matter to God.” Woah. Major game changer. So here’s what that tells me, but let me know what you think….
If every person was created in the image of God, then every person has unique strengths, abilities….talents! This means that every person represents God’s heart uniquely. Whether that be through art, music, public speaking, making coffee, academics, teaching, public service, pastoring or whatever! They are a piece of God’s heart. And they can teach me more of who He is—a piece that I do not understand.
Each person holds a piece of Jesus in them.
What would happen if I started treating them like it?
If I don’t love, I miss out on people and I miss out on experiencing the heart of God more. I need to love.
I want to love.
1 John 4:8 says, “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
I want to know God! I don’t want my feelings of irritations for a child of God to ever get in the way of me experiencing the one who embodies love.
So here’s a piece of valuable advice that you may have never received before:
MAKE A FRIEND WITH SOMEONE WHO IRRITATES YOU!!
Seriously! Love people the way you love yourself! Look at them through the eyes of love that God has. Ask your Father to grant you an understanding heart and an overwhelming joy for His children.
Smile at the person who gets your order wrong—they are a piece of God’s heart.
Learn patience for that annoying co-worker—they are a piece of God’s heart.
Ask for a piece of gum from that crazy dude who has an obsession—he is a piece of God’s heart.
Pray for reconciliation and peace with that family member or friend—they are a piece of God’s heart.
Remind yourself constantly that they matter to God.
You will be blown away by the joy, peace, and love He will overwhelm you with.