Read Ephesians 4:1–12
1 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
7 But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. 8 This is why it says:
“When he ascended on high,
he took many captives
and gave gifts to his people.”
9 (What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? 10 He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) 11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.
Is there someone you struggle to get along with? Whether they’re selfish, annoying, too loud (or too quiet), gossipy, or any number of other things, we all have people we just can’t seem to click with. Imagine how much easier life would be if we didn’t ever have to deal with these people!
Have you ever thought, however, about how easy it would be for God to think this exact same way about us? We are difficult people too! We are selfish and unkind more often than we’d like to admit. But God doesn’t look at us and think, “Life would be easier if these people didn’t exist.” Instead, He gave up His Son to die in our place on the cross.
If we can see our own flaws and recognise God’s forgiveness, we will be able to understand better the problems that other people face—even the people we find difficult—and show them the same patience and love that God showed us. In his letter, Paul encourages us to be “completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love” (Ephesians 4:2). Rather than avoiding the people who annoy us, let us take the example of Jesus and be ready to welcome them with God’s love and kindness. –DF
When we find people difficult, remember that we’re difficult too.
Talk to God
Father, please help me to be patient with the people I don’t get on with. They were made by You too, and are just as important as everyone else.
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