There are people who are hard to live with. Mere sight of them perhaps upsets us. But they are just like us. They can be hurt like us. And they need to be loved and understood.
But loving them is not easy. In fact, apart from Gods love, we cannot love them.
It is easier to love a person who loves us back. We can easily love a person who would be there when we need them. But we ignore those whom we judge as having nothing to do with us. We do not care about them who behave in a different way.
Most of us would react to people the way they react to us. But this is not Gods way. God did not come to earth for those who are well, but for the sick. (Matthew 9:12). We must therefore love not only those we find easy to love but also those we find hard to love.
God accepted us in spite of who and what we are. He loved us despite the fact that we are sinners. So who are we to be uncaring to others?
Yes, it is not easy. But we can start now. For love is something that we do. It is not just something that we feel.
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)
Being affectionate or being friendly to a person we find hard to love is very trying. But God wants us to be like that.
People who are hard to live with are those who have undergone things that are not the usual. The way they were brought up must be difficult. That is why they also find it difficult to deal with different kinds of people. That must be hard work for them. And because they are not good at it, people would often get the wrong impression.
Do we expect the deaf and mute to teach spoken language? No. So we must not expect them who were deprived of love when they were young to love as deeply as we want them to.
The truth is, all of us have undergone varied experiences that are too painful. Hence it is not good for us to be indifferent at each other. We are all in the same boat. For all we know, we shall need each others help at different times.
So how should we respond to each other? Ephesians 4:12 (TLB) tells us how. Be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each others faults because of your love.
In the end, we will benefit from it because we will reap what we sow. (Galatians 6:7). When we love others, we will be loved in return. Love indeed begets love.
1. Have you encountered a person that seems to be hard to live with? How do you treat him or her?
2. How do you find yourself in terms of relating with people? Do they find you easy or hard to live with? Assess yourself on this. Should there be areas in your relationships that need change, ask the Lords help and that of other people you can rely on.
God wants us to treat people the way He treats us all.