OMG ! (oh my goodness), I don’t believe what she just said. Am I hearing things? The nerve!
Those were the first thoughts that ran through my mind as I picked my heart up off the floor where it had been stomped on a few seconds earlier.
Being caught off guard I didn’t have a comeback. Instead I was taken aback.
She zinged me again!
Do you know the person I’m talking about? It’s my “irregular person”. And I willing to bet you have one too.
An irregular person is someone with whom you can’t ever get it right. No matter what you say, or do or how hard you try they always seem to be at odds with you.
These are people you can’t avoid because they are unavoidable. They’re usually family. If not related, they’re spitting distance close.
Everything you have ever done wrong just seems to slip off their tongue. You get blindsided with every past mistake or blunder you’ve ever made each time you’re with them.
So what do you do with an “irregular” person?
You could hate them….
Irregular people are those kind people you would love to hate!
But that doesn’t work for me because I’m a Christian and God commands Christians to love. And not just love any old way, we’re commanded to love the way Jesus did. John 13:34 says “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, you must love one another.
But., but, but.. wait. When I get dumped on by my “irregular” person and left feeling wounded and singled out isn’t it okay to momentarily (maybe a little longer than momentarily) forget about loving?
Instead, can’t I spend some time (more than I care to admit) conjuring up the perfect comeback?
One particular day, after an encounter with my “irregular”, I was doing that very thing; dwelling on my irritation and devising a plan of retaliation. While filling my head with all sort of toxic ammunition, God sent me a zinger of His own.
The kind that hurts so good.
As I was loading for bear I felt Him speak to me and say, how are you any better if you do the same thing?
What? Me? I’m not like…..Ouch!
That stopped me dead in my twisted thoughts. I was reminded of the verse in Luke 6:32-33 that says, “If you love those that love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those that are good to you, what credit is that to you?”
All the while I’m thinking poor pitiful me my thoughts have proved me to be just plain pitiful; no different from my “irregular” person.
I’m not sacrificing a thing. I’m not sacrificing my feelings, my thoughts and I’m especially not sacrificing any love.
I too was headed down a slippery path to irregularity even if only played out in my mind.
God revealed to me that I cannot act in love if my thoughts act out hate.
And the mouth will eventually put in motion what the heart has been feeding it.
So how do we deal with an “irregular” person without becoming “irregular” ourselves?
Here are a few tips that have helped me.
- If practical, talk with your “irregular” and let them know how they’ve hurt you. Honest transparency is always a good first step.
- As much as possible, limit the time spent with your “irregular” person.
- Before you know you are to be with them pray, pray and pray some more. In 1 Corinthians 10:12-13 God promises to help us with our temptation.
- Confess your hurt feelings and hateful thoughts to God.
- Memorize applicable scripture, such as Isaiah 26:3. And pray it inserting your name.
- Pray for your “irregular” person. Often those who are in pain inflict pain on others.
- Recognize that most things in this life are out of our control. But God is in control. That’s better!
- Finally, be thankful, yes thankful for your irregular person. There is a reason they are in your life. Ask God to reveal it to you. Jeremiah 33:3 Call to me and I will answer you and tell you unsearchable things you do not know.
If you have an “irregular person in your life do you struggle with your thoughts about them?
How do you deal with them?
Please leave a comment and share what has helped you.
I’m looking forward, pressing on and seeking God in every bump and turn in the road. Joying in the journey- Christy