A Hint Dealing with Irritating People

Devotional /discussion thought for the day!

“All right, I agree!  That person has behaved badly,; his behavior has been reprehensible and unworthy, he deserves no merit at ALL!
Humanly speaking he deserves to be utterly despised, you added.

I understand what you mean.  I can assure you, but I do not share this concluding view of yours.  That life which seems so mean is sacred! Christ has died to save it, if He did not despise it, how can you dare to?”   (J. Escriva, The Furrow)

We often talk about the commandment, “you shall not bear false witness” in regards to our deeds – what we say.   But we know from Matthew 5 that it is not just about our deeds but our thoughts.  Luther’s small catechism urges us to “see the best side of everything he does” (some translate it “put the best construction on it”. ) Again, we see the challenge, of doing this not only in what we say in public, but what we think and feel in our hearts.

For surely we all have people that irritate or annoy us, whose behavior is just… hard not to see as wicked, or narcissistic. Yet we are called to love them, to forgive them, to work alongside them and encourage them to look to Christ, for forgiveness – and yes as Paul urges – to imitate Him.

Hear these words… though they be hard…

5:44 I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, 45 for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. 46 If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. 47 If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that. Matthew 5:44-47 (MSG)
This is not easy, for we struggle with doing it, because of our own sin, or those sins of theirs which we repress rather than forgive.   Yet we too need to look to Jesus, who did exactly this – He looked at what we have done, and died, so that the absolute best construction would be all that is visible to the Father!  Look at the underlined phrase above… and realize – God has given you His best – and He puts the best construction on you… that you are His righteous, holy, unstained by sin, children.

It is from realizing this, that you can go… and in thought word and deed look at those who most would count as your enemies, as see them with love – your brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus!  So look at them – see them under the cross… with Christ saying about them… Father forgive them, and there… in that moment.. find the strength to love His friend, His adopted brother, the one along with you whom He died to save…

And know the peace of God is with you – as is His mercy… and love!

About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God’s saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on June 1, 2012, in Devotions and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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