You know the kid who always bugs you. Says random stuff you don’t care about at all. Follows you around all the time. It’s like he thinks you’re cool but at the same time he exists to insult and annoy you.
How about the girl in your Sunday School class who is always late. She doesn’t listen to a word anyone says. She’s busy texting all day, everyday. Quick to give you attitude, too. Probably thinks you’re stupid and a waste of her life’s precious moments.
How about the guy who talks nonstop about anything and everything because he thinks he knows it all. You and your friend are having a fine conversation about something and you-know-who pokes his head in the circle of life and gives his 2 (+ 14212) cents. Makes everything into a debate. Disagrees with everything you say. Yup, that guy with the big ole head.
We have all encountered people like these. Maybe you read the descriptions and specific names even popped up in your mind. Maybe. Probably.
As Christians, we are called to love like Jesus. Jesus loved the unlovable, the lost, the broken. We are called to do the same as his Church, his people.
It really frustrates me when I catch myself distancing myself from the very people that God has called me to love and to minister to. When I encounter someone that is annoying and disrupts my equilibrium, in my selfishness, I just want to get away from him. When I encounter someone rebellious and causing trouble, I get mad because she’s not behaving in a way I would prefer. When I encounter someone so full of pride, I am quick to react by wanting nothing to do with him.
Distance and more distance. It’s an interesting but ugly thing when we realize how a lot of times our [sinful] reaction to sinfulness in people is to create distance between us and them. Whether it is anger, indifference, or in between, we are essentially choosing to care for our own comfort instead of their souls.
Distance is the last thing we want to place between ourselves and others. Jesus did the exact opposite by closing the gap. He came to sinners who rejected Him by coming to Earth as a man. He sat and dined with the ones who were considered the worst by society. Instead of moving away, He came closer. Invitation by grace, instead of rejection by pride. Ultimately, Jesus died on the cross and took on our sin so that we might be saved. So that we might be reconciled with the Father.
Next time you find yourself annoyed or angry at someone and want nothing to do with him or her, that’s probably someone who needs the love of God.
Let’s make effort to pause and look deeper inside of them instead of looking at ourselves and stopping there. They are probably acting that way because there’s a deeper issue. Let’s remember that we are all broken people in need of a Savior’s love and grace.