Annoying People

Why are people the way they are? I don’t mean generally but specifically. You know the people I’m talking about—those people you and I have to put up with who have those irritating habits, those peculiar idiosyncrasies, that attitude that just drives us up the wall. Why can’t everyone be more like you and me?

I’m sure you detect here the obvious “tongue-in-cheekness” of what I’m saying. The reality is that all of us probably irritate someone at one time or another because of the way we are. But sometimes we forget this, don’t we? We may have a tendency to magnify the sins and shortcomings of others and minimize our own. If we have trouble getting along with someone, do we quickly assume it’s his or her fault? Or are we honest and mature enough to take a close look at our own habits and attitudes? Granted, sometimes it will be the other person’s fault. But getting into the habit of first looking to ourselves is beneficial and biblical. Jesus said, “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye” (Matthew 7:1-5). Every day I am paving the way for my own judgment. If I pick people apart, exaggerate their flaws and diminish their virtues, then things do not bode well for me before the judgment seat of Christ. Jesus teaches that my appearance before the Judge of all the earth will be every bit as unpleasant as I have made life for others. If on the other hand I am merciful in dealing with others, willing to cut them some slack, encouraging them with kindness and support and not taking to heart every offense that comes my way, then I can approach The Day comfortably and confidently in Christ because the mercy he has extended to me I am passing on to others. If I make it my aim to help folks along instead of dragging them down God will smile on me when my time comes. If we live like that we might be amazed at how much better we start getting along with that other “annoying” person. At the very least we will be keeping our own house in order.

The book of Ecclesiastes has some great advice for healthy personal relationships. Here’s a gem, “Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins. Do not take to heart all the things that people say, lest you hear your servant [or anyone else for that matter] cursing you. Your heart knows that many times you have yourself cursed others” (Ecclesiastes 7:20-22). Isn’t it appropriate that the face we see when we brush our teeth is one of the first we see each new day? That’s the face under your control. That’s the attitude you can affect. That’s the mouth only you can use to heal or to hurt.

Picking on other people’s faults is like shooting fish in a barrel. Anyone can do that. But taking a close look at ourselves and changing what we need to change requires someone more special.

If after reading this article someone else came to mind that you think needs to read this—read it again.

Brad Fry

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Published in: on November 28, 2011 at 4:10 pm  Comments (1)  
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