Have you ever bumped into anyone in life who just cannot be pleased? They have a bad attitude about life in general and feel like everyone and everything is out get them. Just the other day, I was talking to my mom about my life experiences lately and she said, “Anne, you cannot judge others. You cannot possibly understand what they are dealing with in life. Their reaction is probably due to what you cannot see. So, think twice before you judge them.”
That is so true. When I deal with impossible people, I know that they are just that: impossible. They aren’t that way because they want to be. They are that way because of the circumstances that got them there in the first place.
Anger and bitterness toward these types of people (which I might add I have been one many times before), will only worsen the situation. We are called to love them. Somewhere, there must be a loveable quality.
Now, this doesn’t mean we have to spend a lot of time with these people. In fact, I have found limiting my time with “them” is the best idea.
Most of you who have kept up with my blog know that I have been dealing with some very difficult situations lately. I wish I could say that life was taking an upturn, but it is staying pretty stagnant. Difficult people have been placed in my life in abundance. So when my mom said those words to me, I took my finger pointing and turned my finger toward me. I was a difficult person. I was in a severely stressful situation and I had become that impossible person. Somehow even through this week, my family has found a way to love me. They loved the unlovable.
In the midst of the many struggles of the last 7 days, I have seen myself go from a joyous, loving follow of Christ to a bitter, angry and controlling individual. I fell upon the words of Zacharias this morning. Zacharias was the husband of Elizabeth who had gone many years without bearing a child. At an “old” age, she became pregnant with John the Baptist. Zacharias was greeted by an angel of God to announce the good news in the book of Luke. Zacharias was doubtful. After all, he was old and so was Elizabeth. Why on earth would God send them a child at this age? My guess is Zacharias was angry and bitter. Children and heirs were very important in biblical days. Many children meant you were blessed by God . To be barren, surely meant you were unworthy. So when Zacharias turned his back to God’s announcement, the angel muted him.
When John the Baptist was born, they had decided on naming him after his father, Zacharias. So at his circumcision, Elizabeth announced his name was to be John. Zacharias affirmed this by writing “His name is John” on a tablet. At that moment, Zacharias was able to speak again.
You see, when we harbor bitterness and resentment in our hearts, we cannot speak the truth of God. We cannot possible shine God’s love into other’s hearts. We have to conquer our own faith before sharing the faith.
So when I was faced to face with the impossible this week, my life was miserable. Probably because I was so busy trying to control the situation, that I couldn’t see God trying to knock on my heart. As I started to let God take over, things started to click into place. Things still happened, but I could see that there was a light at the far far end of the tunnel. I guess because instead of seeing my own selfish situation, I could come up with remedies to the bigger problems. Most importantly, I could listen to Pete’s solutions to the problems. Together we were able to come up with a plan. Together we could find a way through this tough week.
I find it hard to love those who are mean spirited, pessimistic and hard to please. I find it hard to melt my hardened heart when people cross me or take advantage of me. I find it difficult to negotiate with those who will not bend. Yes, there will be people like this in your life. Yes, God does call us to love the unlovable. Yes, we must either give in or walk away when we are faced with these impossible people.
Just think if one of these impossible people were Zacharias in your life? What if you had the chance to shine God’s love on someone who would be the father of a prophet? What if that impossible person is destined for great things and YOU could be the person to show them back to God? Now that’s powerful.