Don’t be surprised by irritating people!

Posted on May 14, 2015 · Posted in Communication, Wisdom

You should not be surprised when people are irritating. Actually, you should expect them to be. It is time to stop being shocked that people sin.

Isn’t that negative thinking?

No, this is realistic thinking that is in line with God’s commands. Here are a few examples:

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4:2

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32
Do not be overcome by evil, but evil with good.  Romans 12:21
A gentle answer turns away wrath,
    but a harsh word stirs up anger.   Proverbs 15:1

These are four of many commands about how to address irritating behavior.  The Holy Spirit fully anticipated that you would have to interact with people who are less than perfect. This is why he has left you with explicit instructions about how to respond to being irritated.

When you respond in amazement and say, “I can’t believe he just said that” you are forgetting about what the Bible says people are like. People are born in sin with a bent towards self-centeredness. God prepares you for this in his word.

You are to bear with the sins of others in love. You are to be kind and compassionate, always ready to forgive. You are to overcome evil with good.  You are to give a gentle answer to people’s outrageous comments.

Love is not easily irritated. Love remembers that God’s mercy is daily extended to you when you are unlovely and irritating.
Be prepared for irritating people.  Make showing God’s love more important than your injured pride.

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”

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Jay Younts
John A. (Jay) Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger, and is a ruling elder serving at Redeemer Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He has written Everyday Talk, Everyday Talk About Sex & Marriage, Finding the Right Track, the In Touch With Paul stewardship series, and What About War. He has studied and taught about biblical childrearing for 30 years. He and his late wife Ruth have five adult children.