“A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people.” 2nd Timothy 2:24 NLT
When I was reading my Bible the other day, this verse really stuck out to me. Especially the last part: “be patient with difficult people.” I feel that I am normally a very kind person; I really love helping people. However; being patient with difficult people is not easy for me. I guess this probably isn’t easy for anyone, but people have different opinions on what a “difficult person” is.
I have been thinking, how do I do this? How can I be patient with people who are just plain mean? How can I be patient with people who start arguments just for the sake of arguing? How can I be patient with people who completely lack empathy? It is very difficult. I obviously cannot do it on my own. I need to ask God to help me have patience with difficult people. I also have to realize these people are probably not going to stop being difficult; everyone has their flaws. Maybe I am a difficult person to some people. It can also be confusing because I don’t want to spend too much time with people who have a negative impact on my mental health. It is okay to set up boundaries. It can be difficult because you don’t want people to think you’re mean. However; being kind does not mean letting people walk all over you. You can be patient with difficult people without letting them treat you like garbage. This might cause continuous forgiveness which is very hard. I have to remember God has forgiven me so I need to ask Him to help me forgive others. It is very hard, especially when you don’t feel they deserve forgiveness. But, God has forgiven everyone who has asked for it. I can’t say I know better than God, right? I’m not saying this is easy. Forgiveness is extremely hard. Forgiveness takes time. I don’t think it is something we can always do on our own. I need to continually ask God to help me forgive the difficult people in my life.
Who are the difficult people in your life? Is it hard for you to have patience with them? You are not the only one. Having patience with difficult people is extremely hard, but maybe by continually showing them love, you can lead them to Christ. Of course, it is more difficult if they say they are already a Christian. Only God knows their heart, but it can be frustrating when difficult “Christian” people turn others away from Christ. Of course, I am not perfect. I hope I haven’t turned anyone away from Christ or the church. I need to remember everyone has their flaws. Some people are more difficult to deal with than others. Jesus dealt with many kinds of people. I need to try to be like Him. Of course, it is okay to set up boundaries. You don’t need to be with this person all the time. Obviously, if they are a dangerous person, you don’t need be with them at all. However; it is important to remember to show God’s love to everyone. Even the people you feel don’t deserve it. God loves everyone and we should, too.
“Then Peter came to him and asked, ‘Lord, how should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?’ ‘No, not seven times,’ Jesus replied, ‘but seventy times seven!” Matthew 18:21-22 NLT