"By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35
In a recent conversation I said, "The frustrating thing about people is, you can't make them do the right thing, that's why I like animals," I said. She smiled and scoffed,"You can't even make your cat do the right thing, that's not a good analogy for you." I took offense to that because, well.....she was right. The truth is, I spoil him! He jumps on my lap while I am trying to post, he steals my chair when I get up from the table, and he would snatch food right off my plate if I let him.
But it's easy for me to look past all that because it is easy to love him. He follows me everywhere. He greets me when I come home at night. He circles around my feet when it looks to him like I might sit down, and then he plops into my lap and turns upside down.....one very blissful cat.
It's the same with people I love.......It's easy to overlook their faults and little idiosyncracies, even lavish them with affection, because I love them.
But what about strangers? What about someone I don't know? What about the difficult people in my life, your life? Those porcupines.
What makes dealing with them so frustrating? Because I can't make them behave the way I think they should. I can't make them do the right thing, make the right decisions. BEHAVE.
And because I don't love them, even though God says I must.
When I am describing "difficult people," it's always those people out there. I naturally assume that I am not one of them. It's a finger pointed outwards, accusingly. We have all worked with them, sometimes even lived with them. Maybe you live with one now. You know the kind......
Complaining, egocentric, selfish, negative, narcissistic, disagreeable, argumentative.......It would be oh so easy to just cross them off. But I can't.
Because God doesn't cross me off. No matter how many times I disappoint Him.
Probably, most "difficult" people don't think they are difficult. And there are times, I am sure, when I am difficult for others to deal with....... and very difficult to God.
Because I know how much slack God gives me each and every day, how much He has lavished on me.......it helps me to deal a bit less harshly with the porcupines in my life. I can only hope.
God reminded me of this today when I was busy complaining to Him about someone else.