Are there people who have a knack of irritating you with little effort? Maybe they are a rough talker, say negative things or perhaps it’s their mannerism in general. Perhaps you can’t even put a finger on why they bother you like sandpaper scraping a wall. I’ll never forget an expression of my Dad’s (his pre-Christian days)…That blanketey-blank guy makes me mad when I watch him walk!
Here’s the thing. It’s easy to identify those who rub us the wrong way for no apparent reason, but have you considered the people you rub the wrong way? This isn’t a one way street, I need to do the same. There’s a verse in the Bible called the “Golden Rule.” Most people can quote the words, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Matthew 7:12). Can you imagine what life would be like if everyone simply treated everyone they knew like this? The following lines may offer some help in at least making an attempt to put Matthew’s verse into practice.
Start accepting people for who they are. You know no one’s perfect so don’t expect them to be. Give people room to mess up. Everyone will fail once in a while. If you don’t expect the person to change then you won’t be disappointed if they don’t. Rather than criticize, accept them, but if they are an irritant to you and others, there may be a reason. Everyone needs someone to pray for them. I know a certain individual that most people can’t stand to be around. Words of sarcasm are the norm, but I get along really well with him. What I’ve learned is, this individual respects those that respect him. Isn’t that true of all of us? We know everyone responds to love and praise. Instead of complaining about a person’s flaws, look for and speak about their good qualities. For instance, “He may not be a good communicator, but he’s a really hard and faithful worker.” Or, “She isn’t much of a cook, but she’s a terrific mother.” Life will get easier for you and those around you if you stop expecting others to change, but allow God to change you.