I See My Reflection: Learning From The Difficult

Here’s my confession: The reason I’m obsessively bothered by stubborn spirits (childish traits carried into adulthood) is because of the cost it places on others. Someone else pays the price for our stubbornness, selfishness, and rot. 

Until the day I die, I will fight these negative tendencies in me and others, pushing and propelling because the world could use less hurt. We’ve all been at the receiving end of selfish behaviour and this either tainted our trust in others, or caused us to become one of those who hurt us.
 
Now If we’ve taken the very narrow path, it means that we’ve chosen to work against the hardness that forms over hurt scabs so that our hearts do not close. We know and trust that all our experiences God will use for our good, including every nasty touch of humanity we’ve had to go through, and even been to others (See Joseph’s story in the Old Testament).
Jesus commands us to love our enemies (John 15:17) and to pray for our enemies (Matt 5:44). For this reason, we must deal with egotistical persons, the loved creatures of God we don’t miss and can’t think about without bile rising to the throat. Yes, we all know these people, because to others, we are those people.
 
If someone irritates us to no end, the wise thing to do is reflect on what is found offensive. Likewise, if there are traits we admire, these serve as chances to discover what we have or aspire to acquire. Pleasurable people are a breath of fresh air but the only way to meet them is to be one.
 
Here are traits to look out for within yourself if growing up is what you’re after:
Difficult people talk more than they listen, are disagreeable, love to compare, whine and complain. Their points of view encompass how hard life is for them, how much they’ve had to work, how they can’t trust anyone, and how long they’ve had to do things on their own. The problem with a stubborn spirit is that you’ll never win. Their emotional need is rooted in a lifelong venture to seek validation from a parent figure. What to do if such a person can’t be avoided?
 
Don’t validate. This sounds contrary to active listening skills, but trust me when I say that your person isn’t looking to hear positive things from you. What s/he is searching for can’t be provided by you. S/he just wants someone to use for instant gratification. This person gets off letting others know exactly how s/he feels. The discussion rarely has anything to do with anything other than his or her feelings. 

What can you do? Speak few words, and you won’t feed the insatiable animal inhabiting the person. It will also train you to choose your battles. In time, you won’t have to worry about being an abrasive person because silence has humbled you. Discernment becomes a second cloak.
 
God wants us to see humanity as it is and not as we wish, as the first step to receiving His eyes. To experience His grace, we must first see how we are, who we are to Him, and what we must do. The same goes for others.
 
Ask God to bless the person who tests your good nature, for every bitter thought you have against him/her.
 
This prayer will force you to cry out to Him until all the bile and poison runs out because as you will find, God makes good on our prayers, and the Holy Spirit will begin to convict you to want this ridiculous request to be true. Here begins your transformation into a compassionate being. It’ll take all of God’s grace and none of you to get you there. But here’s the thing; you’ll earn a gift in personal development, an irrefutable treasure to carry along for the rest of your days.
 
The attitude I’m suggesting comes from Jesus’ request, to turn the other cheek, and offer up more than just our coat (Matt 5:38-40). What’s your prize? God’s peace, to keep your heart still with each difficult person you meet. His eyes, to see the person loved no less or greater than yourself. His reminder, that you are as flawed, in your own way. His challenge, to grow deep and stretch tall like the tree He wants you to be in His garden. His invitation, to turn to only Him for sustenance, as your turning to others to complain only turns you into what you’re having a hard time dealing with.
 
The victory is always yours in the Lord, if you’re up for the challenge. What do you think? Please share this post.
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I See My Reflection: Learning From The Difficult

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