Jerry Seinfeld had a great line, “People. They’re the worst!”
Do you ever feel that way?
I imagine we all have a few of those difficult people in our lives. They seem to go out of their way to make our day less wonderful. A rude remark. A “constructive criticism.” A purposeful slight.
Frankly, we just don’t like hanging around them. And often we don’t need to.
But what about the ones we can’t avoid? In a church or other organization. Where we work. In our family.
What do we do then?
First, avoid them as much as you can. I mean really, why deal with them when you don’t need to? Nobody says you need to be buddies with everyone.
But what about when you can’t avoid them? And they really irritate you?
Paul writes a great antidote, “Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each others’ faults because of your love.” (Ephesians 4: 2 NLT)
Let’s look at this in steps.
First, be humble. I know, that’s not your problem.
But try to remember where you came from. Think about some of the weeds that still pop up in your garden. Helps us keep perspective.
Second, when we remember that at times we may be slightly less than companionable it helps us to cut others some slack. We want others to give us room for occasional crazies. This helps us pass on the favor.
Third, that produces patience. Frankly, it gives us the ability to just let some stuff slide. We really don’t need to fight every battle. I’ve found out the hard way it’s often a lot better to just pass on some issues.
And the result? I’ve found it helps me make allowances for others’ blind spots. Hopefully they’ll do the same for me.
And frankly that brings a lot of peace to our relationships. And that’s way better than fighting out every issue.
We can give grace to difficult people when we remember the grace we’ve been given.
How has remembering that grace helped you get along with difficult people?