Letâ€™s be honest: people can be annoying. Even those we deeply love can sometimes get on our nerves. In those moments, itâ€™s so hard to be kind and gracious. But as Christians, we are to love at all times, even when the people in our lives are really grating.
â€œWe love because he first loved usâ€ (1 John 4:19). Jesus loved us so much, he was willing to prove his love in his death. It is pretty clear people annoyed Jesus at times, yet he still was willing to sacrifice himself. As imitators of Christ, we need to learn to do the same. Most of the time, this wonâ€™t include physical death, but rather dying to ourselves.
In the theologian John Wesleyâ€™s Prayers for Daily Use, the following prayer appears: â€œYou have made all people in your image, and each person is capable of knowing and loving you. Do not permit me to exclude any person from my loving care, but let me treat each person with that tender love and respect that is due all your childrenâ€¦ You established the worth of each human being by giving your precious blood for him or her; set the value you place on each person I shall meet today firmly before my eyes, and let me love as you have loved.â€
I suggest you pray this prayer daily over the next month. In doing so, may you find yourself a little less frustrated with people and a lot more willing to be patient with them. Grace and peace, Pastor Ruth