Biblical Eyesight Emerging Forefront
A few years ago I used to work with this really annoying person in the mall. She drove me insane. She worked slow, complained a lot, and was just plain weird. So I decided to deal with it how any other book worm would handle it; I bought a book call How to Deal with Annoying People. As I was reading the book I came to a surprising conclusion, I was the annoying person. I am sure many of you are not surprised by the preceding statement, but for me it was not what I was looking to hear. Often when we encounter a problem as Christians, we expect God to change our surroundings and not ourselves. While I was reading this book it taught me that I needed to work on areas of my life in order to understand my self and others. It reminded me that as a believer I am called to take my focus of myself and redirect to God, which according to I John we are to naturally redirect to others. Sadly today, most believers focus on themselves instead of others. A.W. Tozer wrote:
Christianity today is man-centered, not God-centered.1
Tozer wrote this decades ago. He saw what direction our culture was heading, and sadly we have progress more in that direction on a daily basis. What can we do as believers to go against this trend? I think we should ask ourselves what can we do not be annoying, and how can we better deal with annoying people?
Often the Pharisees and religious teachers of the day would try and trick Jesus up with different accusations and questions. Each time He would school them on what God’s Word said, and how they were to live. One instance they thought they had Him good when they asked Him to tell them what the greatest commandment was. He quoted Deuteronomy 6:5:
You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
In Matthew 22:39 Jesus added more to it. He said:
And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
The best way to start by not being annoying is to put others first. Often when people do annoying things it is because they have their focus on the wrong place. For example: I work at a bank. Often people will call and yell me about something wrong their account, whether it be a annoying fee or their account is overdrawn. Most people often see this as my fault, but the truth is it might actually be their fault. If your account is overdrawn it typically is because you spent more money than you had in the first place. This is would not make it my fault, it makes it your fault. Instead of accusing me of stealing your money, try and think of ways to balance your checkbook a little better while gaining some better control over your finances is a good start. If we want to be able to handle annoying people better we have start with ourselves, and then we can move outward.
The best way to deal with annoying people is to realize we all have areas that we need to improve. Greg Gilbert wrote this about how to keep the right perspective on other believers who might annoy us a little bit:
Do you realize that the same thing is true of that brother or sister in your church who annoys you? He or she believes in and loves the same Lord Jesus that you do, and even more, he or she has been saved and forgiven by the same Lord who saved and forgave you. Think about that brother or sister you’ve not really taken the time to get to know because you just don’t think you’d click. Think about that person with whom you have a broken relationship that you’ve refused to repair. Now consider that he or she loves and trusts in the same Lord you do. Consider that the same Lord who died for you, also died for him, for her.2
Remember, we are all believers, we are all on a faith journey together, and we all have areas that we need to improve. When it comes to other people who are not believers we have to remember the difference between us and them is Him. We cannot expect the world to act like the redeemed. The only reason we are who we are is because of Christ.
I think the best way to end this is to look at I Corinthians 14 to remind ourselves of what the most important trait in the Christian life is, love.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things,endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.
This passage reminds us to do three things: keep the right perspective, be patient with others, and remember that love will never go away meaning we should never stop loving others.
1) Tozer, A.W. (2010-06-03). Man – The Dwelling Place of God (Kindle Location 296). Unknown. Kindle Edition.
2) Gilbert, Greg (2010-03-23). What Is the Gospel? (p. 118). Good News Publishers/Crossway Books. Kindle Edition.