Okay, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not Suzie Sunshine every day.
I know, shocking right?!
But like you, I have days when I’m…
And even on a good day, it only takes one or two interactions with difficult people to make my sunny day gloomy.
So, I’m making it a goal this year not to give other people that much power in my life. I want to shine the light of God’s love even when the people around me are not.
Paul had a lot to say about the way followers of Jesus are to treat each other and these words from Colossians 3 really spoke to me . . . I love the way The Message says it:
So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.Colossians 3:12–14
Oh, how I wish I could be more consistent at living with compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, and discipline. I want to be quick to forgive, willing to let others get ahead of me, and perfectly loving all the time.
But I’m not…
So, I’m asking God to work on me and in me. And I’m doing the following 5 things to help me on those days when compassion, patience, kindness, and the like, are hard to wear.
5 Things to Do When Difficult People Rob Your Sunshine
1. Pray –
We can be honest with God about the person, the circumstances, and our attitudes. So, let’s ask Him to guide our hearts and actions to do His will.
2. Thank God –
Be thankful that we live under the filter of God’s love and forgiveness. And ask Him to help us extend His love and forgiveness to the people around us.
3. Remember You’re Not Alone –
I sometimes wonder if there were days when Jesus was annoyed and tired of dealing with difficult people. We don’t know . . . we do know that He dealt with them without sinning. I think the answer is that He spent quiet time alone with the Father. He took time to rest in Him and trusted Him to give Him everything He needed each day.
4. Establish Healthy Habits –
Get enough rest. Eat a healthy diet. Stay active. Pause to Praise. Make it a goal to feed ourselves, body, mind, and soul, good things and trust God to care for and restore us.
5. Write the Following –
With God’s help, I will put on mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forgiveness, peace, and love.
I’m going to put it where I can see it often. Maybe you want to do that too.
Or better yet, what if we memorized it? Imagine what God might be able to do in our relationships!
A Prayer Asking for God’s Help with Difficult People
Lord Jesus, thank you so much for coming and living among us. You have known since the beginning of time that people can be difficult and even hard to live with. Yet, You came to sacrifice yourself for the sinful and broken. You came to show us how to live with difficult people. You are always caring, compassionate, forgiving, and faithful. And You have told us to bring our burdens to You . . . I believe that even means our difficult relationships.
Thank you for giving me people in my life. You didn’t intend for us to be alone. You want us to love You and love one another. Please help us. Please help me. Give me everything I need to love the way You want. Make me merciful, kind, humble, gentle, patient, forgiving, peaceful, and caring. Help me care for myself and for the people You place around me. Help me live for Your glory. Amen.
Oh, and one last thing—Remember it’s possible that you may occasionally be that difficult person who needs love and forgiveness, too.
I know I am!
May we willingly and generously give the grace and love we receive from God to all the people in our lives. Even the difficult ones.
And may we glorify God and love like Jesus.
The truth is . . . although we cannot control that difficult person, we CAN control the way we react to them.
May God be with you and bless your relationships with His love.
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