Grin and Bear Them? Loving Difficult People

>> Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I posted this on my FB writer & speaker page, as well as my Twitter today:

"Grin & bear it." That's the advice some give about loving the difficult people in our lives. But Biblical love is a fruit of the Spirit, so depending on Him to love through us is the only way that brings peace & life to the full. May the fruit of love be powerfully present in & through us today."

I've often wondered why it can be so difficult to love difficult people at times. While I come to a different conclusion every time I ponder it, today I landed on a Scripture that gave me some insight. It was Daniel 6:27 (NIRV): "He sets people free and saves them. He does miraculous signs and wonders. He does them in the Heavens and on the earth."

In this context, it's about setting Daniel free from the lions. YES, that was a miracle.

But often, if I'm honest, I ignore the truth that God is still setting people free. Especially the difficult people. (understatement). He does miracles! He turned my unbelieving heart around, He set me free from death and its grip, and He saves me each and every day from all kinds of icky stuff, like when I'm that difficult person in someone else's life.

Sometimes I think I struggle to love the thorny people in my life Christ's way because I don't reflect on the fact that He still does miracles. HE alone can transform a person's heart. If He can turn the water to wine, He can turn the whiner into a worshipper. If He can heal the sick, then He most surely can cure the selfish and mean. If He can die on a cross after living a sinless life, then I can die to myself and let Him love blamelessly through me.

By His grace and because of His unfailing love, He sets people free and saves them. He does miraculous signs and wonders. He does them in the Heavens and on the earth. And even in me and through me...and in and through you too.

The question is, will we believe in and depend on Him to be Love through us today?


Rita's Random Ramblings June 23, 2010 at 10:37 AM  

Awesome article! Praising God for His agape love!

Joanne Sher June 23, 2010 at 1:52 PM  

What a powerful reminder. I too have so much trouble loving the difficult folks. This will definitely help. Blessings, dear

Mari June 23, 2010 at 8:18 PM  

the difficulty of loving difficult people stems from the fact that we think we are better than they are and that can be a difficult thing to overcome.

Lord heal my deficiency in patience as I try to not be difficult loving the difficult.

LisaShaw June 24, 2010 at 6:11 AM  

Amen LauraLee! Great reminder!

I think the area I often struggle with is just a bit different. I at times find it easier to love and pray for difficult people FROM A DISTANCE but not like them so I keep an arms distance from them and guard my heart and mind.

What I mean by not like them is that I don't like their personality or whatever negative way they are speaking/behaving or treating me and that causes my guard to go up. While I may love them and want all God's best for them and pray for them BUT their personality can cause me to become very distant and guarded to protect myself from further hurts by them.

Still same as what you're sharing in terms of I have to STILL behave as Christ would have me to even in that situation.

I will be honest in saying that I love people and am blessed to have a life of ministering to people through Christ BUT often up-close I'm very guarded to have personal relationships with people because we have to "let our guard down" and be willing to be "vulnerable" and endure the hurts and let downs; the difficult people and personalities and that can be very distracting and painful. Make sense?

And like you expressed in your sharing, I know I've been on the other side of the fence where I'm sure there are some who would say I was the difficult person.

WHEW! We all need JESUS and we must do as GOD said, "This is my Son whom I love, Listen to Him."

Love you and appreciate your message!

LauraLee Shaw June 24, 2010 at 9:02 AM  

I'm with you, Mari and Lisa. Those are reasons too. There are dozens more "fleshy" excuses we don't love Christ's way. Like I mentioned, I land on a different one each time I'm reading the Word. ;)

Lisa, you hit some of mine head on. I'm often too easily hurt and offended. For me, I think it comes from the years of abuse suffered in my childhood and then being a "doormat" friend for most of my young adult life. As God has given me His confidence, some of that has faded, but it's still there. Sure does hurt when the slap in the face comes...turning the other cheek is easier said than done! But with Christ in me, there's no end to what I can do, even loving more like Him. ;)

Lisa Mikitarian June 24, 2010 at 12:13 PM  

Great Article--wonderful advice--maybe you should be the one writing an advice column;).

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