This morning I prayed for direction in writing this post.  As usual, there were no lightning bolts nor was there any handwriting on the wall.

 

How to deal with difficult people in your life God's way

 

My heart was open to hearing from God.  And he didn’t leave me wondering for long.  I opened Bible Gateway and the verse of the day popped up. Here it is…

If we say we love God, but hate others, we are liars. For we cannot love God, whom we have not seen, if we do not love others, whom we have seen. The command that Christ has given us is this: whoever loves God must love others also. 1 John 4:20-21

I had already been concerned about being able to concentrate on an inspirational post when I knew I would be struggling with negative thoughts.  So before I even sat down and opened my laptop, I felt like the best way to free myself of negative thoughts was to clean my apartment’s air of the abhorrent aromas.

Strong word.  I know.

 

God doesn't want us to live according to human nature - Frozen channel walls

 

You see, we live on the top floor of this building.  Warm heated air filled with various aromas rises. Add to the equation a woman on the bottom level who is breaking the lease agreement by vaping and smoking illegal substances. Guess whose apartment fills up with these disgusting odors?  There isn’t anything I can do, except call the sheriff.  The building owners have spoken to the woman, but she denies it. That leaves me, the one with the nose of a bloodhound, being charged with the responsibility of having to call the authorities when I smell THAT odor.  I hate that the responsibility falls on me.  It’s incredibly stressful.

To me, the odor is so strong I can taste it.  Yet, my husband, who has had a cold that has lagged on for weeks now, can’t smell it.  I can’t make a call if I’m the only one who smells it.  So then I fume. (Funny appropriate word, huh?) And fuss because I’m forced to endure the stench.

The owners are kind and have given me an ionizer for the apartment.  And though helpful after the fact, the ionizer doesn’t zap the odor out of the air immediately upon entry into our apartment.  They have even offered another apartment in another building.  But, why should I move when I’m not the one who thumbs her nose at the rules?

This has gone on for a few months.  And now I no longer speak of the woman by her name, but by her offense.

So when I read today’s verse…

If we say we love God, but hate others, we are liars. For we cannot love God, whom we have not seen, if we do not love others, whom we have seen. The command that Christ has given us is this: whoever loves God must love others also. 1 John 4:20-21

I knew THIS was the topic for today.

 

Devotional on 1 John 4:20 - We cannot love God... we do not love others - Inspirational Scripture

 

We all have people in our lives who offend us, belittle us, ignore us, treat us unkindly, or ______________.  I know that some of you deal with far worse situations and you may even have rolled your eyes at my unhappiness over my circumstances.  I get it.

When our personhood, our comfort, or our convenience at the least, is infringed upon, we have a tendency to devalue and push aside our offenders.  It’s human nature.

But, God. 

Always… but GOD.

God doesn’t want us to live according to human nature.  His desire is that we put on the mind of Christ and think and live HIS way.

Scripture says that we’re to love the sinner and hate the sin.  It’s not easy to do.

Let’s face it.  We can’t do it in our own strength.  We absolutely must ask God to help us see people the way HE sees them.  And then we need to choose to be loving in our thoughts and behavior towards these unlovable people.

Sometimes it is going to feel impossible.  Especially if you have to be involved in their discipline, or need to work with them in some way.

We need to see these people as broken people who are in need of a savior.  They need to be redeemed.  We need to see them as prisoners who need to be released from their bondage.

We need to pray for them…. 

I will say that I have prayed for the woman who offends me through her illegal activity.  But, I confess my prayer has more to do with my comfort than in seeing her freed from the chains of her sin.

This isn’t pretty and it’s not easy….

When we choose to love God we also must choose to love others.  All others.

If we don’t… then scripture says we don’t love God.

That’s a sobering thought.

 

I’m going to do my best to pray for the woman in the downstairs apartment.  I’m going to care that thinks she’s above “the law” and continues to make poor choices after being confronted and I’m going to pray that she makes the right choice to cease her illegal activity.   And I will pray for her to find freedom and release from her desires through Jesus.

 

Who do you have in your life that offends you?  

Do you love that person or have you devalued them in some way in your mind?  

What are you going to do about it?

Pin It to remember for Later because it's so good - AnExtraordinaryDay.net

Bible TIPS for when your neighbor infringes on your personal comfort.

 

 

JoyDay!- Devotional meditation on loving difficult people - Frozen channel going out to Lake Michigan - AnExtraodinaryDay.net

It’s JoyDay!

 

And time to get our joy meters soaring!

Please join me in thinking back over the past week and counting seven things for which you are thankful.  This simple exercise of counting and giving thanks together in this space is something we do each week to reset our compasses and put our eyes back on the Lord.

I’ll start…

Thank you, God for…

  1. giving me this amazing little circle of blogging sisters.
  2. putting a video in my path that was just what my friend and her husband needed for encouragement.
  3. the challenge of loving my hard-to-love neighbor.
  4. my hard-working husband and your loving provision.  
  5. this time to re-gear. Please help me to find the proper gear so I can thrive.
  6. friends who are faithful to pray.
  7. opening the door to a new week and all the wonderful things you have in store.

Now…it’s YOUR turn!

List your ‘seven’ in the ‘share your extraordinary thoughts’ section below.  You’ll be glad you did.

Thank you for stopping by and leaving your sweet thoughts.

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Comments

  1. I hate uncomfortable situations and have lived my life shoving things under the rug but today I had offence with my son and I spoke to him about it.Now I feel like I ruined his day by having to bring it up and I’m beating myself up.Its not about our comfort but for the offender to come to Christ but sometimes the offender has to be told or shown the consequences of their behaviors.I’m glad you are able to handle this and I pray your neighbor comes to see the error of her ways.I’m thankful that God is holding me up cause its kinda hard right now.

    • Betty, it IS hard. And I think it’s even harder when we have to do hard things like speaking up or contacting the authorities all while loving the offenders… even if they are family. And really family conflicts are the most challenging. I understand that you feel like you ruined your son’s day. When we do things that are uncomfortable for us, we often decide how the person who is on the receiving end feels. Often, we are more sensitive, especially when we have a pattern of “shoving things under the rug.” I know you’re trusting God, leaning hard on HIM, and praying continuously. That’s all we can do… we have to leave it in God’s hands. And oh my… that is such a challenge, too. He IS able to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine. He’s got this Betty…. and because of that… you do too. {{hugs}}

  2. Judy Scantland says:

    Good post, Diane !!

  3. This is a great post that really keeps life in the right perspective. Count the joy!

  4. Just this morning I was reminded of several things that happened during seasons of ministry. I could feel myself beginning to go back there and set things right!
    So I came here instead. While reading your post, calm came and I remember the thing that brings me peace — bless them and bless the Lord, who must be my defense.
    It’s not easy, but the result is so very good for my soul.
    I know the Lord gives you grace and wisdom, Diane, I’ve read it so much here. Peace to you this day.

    • Thank you, Elaine, for your blessing of peace. I’m humbled that you found the calm you were seeking while reading. God’s ways and timing always amaze me. I totally know where you were… it’s a “dangerous” place to be and you were so wise to find your way “away” from it. Praying you have a greater sense of God’s love and nearness and of course His grace and peace today and in the days ahead. {hugs}

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