Why Are People So Annoying?
Did you ever wonder why people seem to annoy us in just about every way possible? I mean why can’t people just be normal and think like me? We’ve all thought that about the people in every relationship that we have. People just get on our nerves; well ok maybe just my nerves.
Why is that? Well mostly because we are all different, and we think we are the ones who are "normal"!! But…my question is do we NEED others to push our buttons, make us crazy and frustrate us?? The answer is yes!! Just like any muscle in our bodies if we don’t use them they never become strong. People’s differences are specifically designed by God to strengthen and grow you into Christlikeness. Do you hate that too or is it just me?
Let’s look at Ephesians 5:22 NLT, “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. The Holy Spirit doesn’t just hand you that fruit, He “produces” it in you by sending difficult people into your life!! People that are late so you have to practice patience, people who act rude so you have to practice gentleness, people who are unkind so you have to practice kindness…you get the picture.
The Fruit of the Spirit is developed just like muscles are. We go into the gym, well, other people I know go into the gym, and lift heavy weights over and over and over again. Pretty soon their muscles are bulging and strong! We encounter difficult people every.day so we can "lift" our fruit to develop our spiritual muscles. There is no other way to get those fruits to come out of us than to have to practice them again and again on difficult people.
I remember playing Shoots and Ladders as a kid. You roll the dice and move your game piece up the board. The goal is to be the first to reach the top. If you landed on a ladder you got to go up higher without rolling again! Our goal in Christianity is to become Christlike, to reach the top so to speak. If you landed on a shoot you had to slide down and you went backwards.
When we encounter a difficult person or situation in life and we respond in the fruit of the Spirit instead of being ugly back at them, it’s like landing on that ladder. You go higher in the Spirit, or you strengthen that muscle. But if you respond in your flesh you slide down. In Christ if we don't respond correctly, we flunk that particular test and have to retake it!
When we are given difficult, annoying people to deal with let’s begin to see it as a game. We need to change our perspective and say ok, I have to engage with this person. I’m going to consider this an opportunity to practice benching my fruit of the Spirit and I’m going to get a spiritual upgrade. I’m going to respond Christ-like, in kindness and with patience. I’m going to resist speaking ugly to them and resist what my flesh wants to do and say.
The more that we do that, practice responding correctly, the more our fruit is developed. We become more Christ-like, and that spiritual muscle becomes stronger. People are always going to be a part of our lives, have you noticed they are everywhere??! There is no way to get around it. Let’s be smart and use those circumstances to practice our Christianity. It’s easy to sit in church and call our selves Christians but the rubber hits the road when we have to ACT like the Christians we say we are. Ouch…
It’s pretty easy to react ugly to people. It doesn’t take any effort on our part at all. But, to respond like Jesus, that takes practice and lots of concerted effort. Jesus has given us everything we need to do what He has asked us to. We cannot rely on our own strength to accomplish anything! We must dig deep and trust the Holy Spirit to help us. Jesus promised in John 14:26, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.
Lets be real, there are some people I’d like to punch in the throat! People seem to know just the right thing to say to hit our last nerve. Our job isn’t to avoid these people and buy an island to live on. It’s to let God use everything that comes our way to build and strengthen us in Christ. To wake up every day and say Father I trust You to lead and guide my day. So anything or anyone who comes my way I know I can handle it. I can be Christ-like, I can respond with kindness, gentleness and self-control.
We will make mistakes and a lot of them. But we need to pick ourselves back up and keep going. Developing our Christianity takes time and effort. When our children learn to sit up or crawl or walk we are such proud parents. God is proud of us for even trying! He doesn't expect us to get it on the first try. He is crazy about us and our desire to please Him so never beat yourself us for the mistakes you make. Repent and keep trying!
How have “people” situations helped you grow? Let’s continue this conversation…