Friday, January 24, 2014

Let's Try This from Another Angle

There are a couple of difficult challenging people whom God has placed in my life, and I will be the first to admit that I have really struggled with my attitude toward them of late. Which is a slightly more genteel way of saying that my attitude toward them stinks to high heaven.

I find myself avoiding these people if possible, and griping and complaining to others about {what is in my mind} their unreasonable demands and requests. There are others who have similar thoughts and attitudes toward these same people, so we've been able to share our mutual gripes and complaints with each other (misery loves company and all that), and while it's somewhat comforting to know that I'm not the only one being driven crazy by these folks, it's also not healthy for me to keep complaining about people who, let's face it, are probably not going to change their ways.

Many days I've prayed about my attitude on my way in to work in the mornings, and then at night I find myself praying again, this time seeking forgiveness for sinking back into that negative attitude throughout the day. But last night as I drove home, I sensed God leading me to pray not about but for one of those challenging people in particular. I realized that it's easy for me to criticize how they handle certain situations--I'm sure I would do things far differently--but I'm not them. I don't have the same background and experiences that they do. I don't have the same personality and wiring that they do. I don't have the same challenges and struggles (both at home and at work) that they do. And so it's unrealistic for me to expect them to act and react the way that I would in certain situations because I'm not them and they're not me.

As I prayed for this person, I found my heart softening a bit toward them. I found some (not all, but some) of my frustration toward them melting away. Perhaps most importantly, I was reminded that although they are probably not going to change, I can change my attitude toward them. So I'm hopeful that, in spite of the frustrating situations that will no doubt arise, today I will approach them with a little more grace and patience. We'll see how that goes...


That Girl said...

My cynical answer is...
"yeah, good luck with that"

My good Christian girl answer is that your nemesis is an irritant that will turn into a pearl.

Yeah, good luck with that! :)

Lisa said...

I have to admit that I DID have a much better attitude yesterday--but I have a feeling that I'll have to do a LOT more praying to keep this up longterm!