People can be irritating. No matter where we’re at in our walk with God, we’re still surrounded by humans, and they’ll always do things that bug us. That’s why God calls us to treat each other well. We won’t always want to, so He reminds us to love, forgive, and be gentle with everyone we meet. No matter how we feel about them. As a whole, Ephesians 4:31-32 reads: ‘Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you’ (NIV). And there we have it. We’re called to react lovingly to others because we have the ultimate example of forgiveness in God’s love for us. His model is the perfect template for our treatment of others. He didn’t wait for us to go to Him before He forgave us. Similarly, we don’t need someone’s permission to forgive them. It’s important to remember that He still holds us accountable for the wrong things that we do. He challenges us when we need to be pulled up. But He always does it in a caring way, with that wholehearted forgiveness and understanding, and we can do the same. We can make the first move towards those who annoy us, and try to show compassion. Chances are that those irritating people aren’t trying to make our life more complicated on purpose. They’re most likely trying to deal with, and make sense of, their own complicated lives. A little glimpse of God, through us, could help with that more than we may think.
Who was the last person that irritated you? Ask God to help you show His love towards them today, and then make a point of saying ‘hi’ and asking how they are whenever you get the opportunity.