Exercising Grace: How To Be Genuinely Nice To Mean People

HAVE YOU EVER?

Have you ever crossed paths with someone who was just determined to make your life difficult, challenging or maybe even just plain miserable?

Or maybe it’s just that they are dead set on being miserable themselves, so as a result it makes it absolutely impossible for anyone to do anything right.

The kind of people who:

  • Are miserable and can’t stand seeing someone else not be the same way.
  • Are just ill minded, looking for a reaction so they can get some sort of misguided satisfaction for the day.
  • And then there are even others who don’t know why they do what they do, they just do it. Usually because some kind of deep dissatisfaction in themselves or w-i-t-h themselves.

And when you encounter people such as the ones described above, those can be the times where you can find yourself thinking things that may not be the most Christian-ey.haha And let’s be honest, I don’t think I’ve met someone that hasn’t struggled with a person like that at one point in their life.

So when it comes to even thinking about showing grace to someone like that, in a situation like that. Well, let’s just say, it doesn’t always come easily. But I am going to tell you this. Either way no matter the reason. These people are missing something in their lives. And that is, the love of Christ.

QUESTION FOR YOU

Now can I ask you something?? Have you dealt with this, or are you dealing with it right now? Cause I am going to let you in on a little known secret..I most definitely have!

And to be honest I am not even sure if it’s entirely resolved yet.

But I can tell you, I sure know now, what I am going to do about it.

LOOKING BACK

So to give you an little bit of a back story, I’ll tell you this.

To be blunt the last few years had been rough, stuff was coming at me from every which direction, and out of lack of knowledge, a little bit of malicious intent and who knows what else, I had someone decide to take their pain out on me. And to be completely real, I eventually came to almost a complete loss of what to do or say.

I was confused. I was frustrated. And well I just didn’t’ know why it was happening. And as you probably know, when you don’t fully understand something it makes it even more difficult to trust. To trust that God will take care of it, even when our earthly minds can’t imagine how something like this can be handled the way the bible teaches us to.

TRUTH AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH

Anyways point of the story is, I just didn’t understand or know how to make it stop. Specially since the people who could help, wouldn’t, didn’t, or at least not in the way they should. Actually some of them even made it worse, if you could believe it. And between that person and my so called friends, I wasn’t sure what felt worse.

Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little – Edmund Burke

All I knew was that I had absolutely zero control. At least that’s how it felt. And that these words being spoken didn’t remotely represent or equate to who I was. But since I wasn’t being confronted directly I had no way to defend myself in the ways I so badly wanted to! How was I to explain that was what was being said, couldn’t be more wrong.

And for a while there I went between just trying to let it go, being absolutely angry, and at its worst— just completely emotionally defeated, specially with everything else that was happening around me.

Reason also being because all I had been doing was try to be nice, friendly, and openly welcome others. Because truth be told all I was looking for was a friend. As we all are, I think. And boy did I ever find the opposite.

THE BEGINNING TO DEALING WITH IT

So for some reasons I now understand, and for others that only God knows. This was happening, and now I was left with how I was going to deal with it. And man did I ever have a few thoughts about how I wanted to deal with it! But I put aside my ways, I put aside how some of the people in my life would have me handle it. And I did it Gods way.

I prayed and He helped me see things differently. He showed me that I was still in control, contrary to what I first believed amidst my brokenness and hurt.

It was then that I fully entrusted and recognised my worth in Christ and that it didn’t matter what anyone else said. We all make mistakes, we all aren’t perfect but we all could do a bit better to accept one another amidst the flaws because who are we to say anyone else isn’t worth just as much as the other?

God sure doesn’t see it that way.

Photo by: Jorja Coral Photography

HOW I DEALT, AND HOW YOU CAN TOO

So we are still kinda left with the issue. What did I do? How did I deal? And more importantly what can you do if you are in the same position as I was/am.

I mean, as I said earlier sometimes there’s nothing you can do. But you do have control over your actions. To be more clear, your re-action.

In my case I prayed, I prayed A LOT. Prayed for patience, peace and guidance. I didn’t react in the way I knew they wanted me to. And probably the most important prayer I prayed, was for them. YES for them. I will admit with my heart starting off in such a low place, to think about praying for such a person, was challenging at the least. But it was just those prayers that healed my mind and heart. And it was the door that opened it to forgiveness which lifted a weight off my shoulders.

TRICKS TO CONFRONTATION

Alternatively the best advice I can give is to just take a very real moment and breathe. Let go of the frustration for just a second and ask God to let you see the situation through His eyes. And most definitely do this before you start to speak or defend yourself ( if that’s an opportunity you do have).

Then most of all take that heart of yours and position it into its proper place, even if theirs is not. Remember you have to face the consequences of your actions, just as much as they will theirs.

And no matter how wrong their actions are, non of it will affect you the same way when your heart is full and your mind is on that of above.

So centre yourself in what you know to be true, and not on what you assume to be. Don’t look at them as the world would see them, try and look at them as Christ would. Not for their sake (right now), but for yours. For when you look through Jesus’ eyes, you see everything differently. And when your path is straight and your hearts true, God will present the opportunities to defend and redeem yourself in this situation. Remember this person needs the life of Christ in their life, and you might be precisely the person God had in mind to show them that. And whoever else is involved.

SO NOW THAT THAT’S DONE

You can be sure that whatever comes out of your mouth when you approach this obstacle, is with the right intent and a good heart. And no matter what this person interprets amidst this conflict. You can have peace in knowing you used the knowledge you’ve been given. And have chosen to handle the situation as God would have had you handle it.

Anything they misconstrued or turn into malice, judgement or whatever else. Is a product of the poison in their own heart, not yours.

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. – Colossians 3:12

Photo by: Jorja Coral Photography

THE POWER OF REACTION

So in other words I am here to remind you that YOU do have the power! Because you are equipped with a strength, a perseverance and a greater understanding.

You serve a God that allows you to overcome whatever lies in your path! Therefore you have no reason to fear.

And that is precisely why there is a great power in your reaction.

Because how you react, changes e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g.

TURNING BAD TO GOOD

So let your actions and words be driven by God you serve. Do as He would have you do.

Cause how awesome is it going to be when you took such a crappy thing full of hate and misunderstanding and turned it into an awesome example of how God is working in your life! Because in the end, that my dear friend is exactly what everyone will be able to see.

Those who are exposed to this persons deceptions will see beyond the lies, and ill spoken words because nothing prevails more than God shining in you. Let that be what people see amidst this quarrel.

And if they refuse to see it, well those people who believed in those lies, were they really ever a friend or worthy of a friendship to begin with? That is when all you can do is pray for them, walk away and hope that God will open their eyes so that they one day will see!

Now may the God of peace equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, thought Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen -Hebrews 13:20-21

THE PRIZE

So pray, pray with expectation, pray till something happens because God has your back. He rewards your perseverance. He will give you all you need to fight that battle. And remember that something greater than your pride is at stake here. If you look at this time of struggle in your life, be sure to see it as an opportunity to help someone discover a life that they may not have thought was possible.

Be kind, be compassionate, have a heart for God and let Him transform it to be able to see this person who causes you trouble, as just another child of God who is lost and needs to be found.

Photo by: Jorja Coral Photography

 CONSIDERATION

My words are to encourage you to rise to the level God would see you rise to! Not stoop to the depths that the enemy would love to see you fall too through this situation. Which I will openly admit, can be one of the hardest things we as Christian can do.

But with perseverance, prayer and composure you can beat this foe that stands in your path. Because no one can change your worth in Christ! When you take this stand, not only is it a stand you are taking for yourself, it is a stand for your faith! One that you will be rewarded for!

So when nothing you can do will change a thing, it is God you must let take control and work within and around that person. And that very person God uses to do so, may be you. And that is something we all should take care to remember in every encounter we make in our day.

 

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