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On My Last Nerve

Bob, Cassidy & Kimberly

“Heaven help us. It’s him (or her) again!” “She gets on my nerves.” “He thinks he knows everything.” “She acts as if she’s perfect.” “He is so fake!” We’ve heard it all before. We all know people who get under our skin. We can hardly stand to be around them, much less be nice to them.

Annoyed Teen2 TSP 176893825

 

So what do we do? We give them the evil eye, barely talk to them, keep an excuse ready for why we can’t hang out, ignore their texts—anything to show them their behavior is unacceptable. Well, not exactly. Instead, try these ideas . . .

 

See Others as Jesus Does

Getting frustrated and annoyed with people is normal, but the way we deal with annoying people shows our true character. People who get on our nerves may be know-it-alls or a pain to be around; and sometimes we get pushed to the edge and can’t take it anymore. No matter what they do that annoys us, we can respond with the attitude of Christ. We can try to see other people from God’s perspective, to see their positive qualities and the good they do. Sometimes annoying people act as they do because of past traumas or bad experiences. The best way to handle annoying people is with patience and understanding—with the mind and attitude of Jesus Christ.

—Bob Sneed, 19

Love Lavishly

Proverbs 12:16 (NIV) says, “Fools show their annoyance at once, but the prudent overlook an insult.” Donald Miller, in his book Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality, says: “I was to love everybody, be delighted at everybody’s existence, and I had fallen miles short of God’s aim. . . . I repented. I told God I was sorry. . . . Instead of withholding love to change somebody, I poured it on, lavishly. I hoped that love would work like a magnet, pulling people from the mire and toward healing. I knew this was the way God loved me. God had never withheld love to teach me a lesson.”

This is the point of loving our neighbors. We are to love and accept people simply because they exist and to be glad they exist. We don’t have to agree with them, but we cannot deny them our love or God’s love. We are called to love lavishly the people God has created, the neighbors with whom we share life’s journey.

—Cassidy Cloer, 18

 

Give Helpful Feedback

Couple Talking TS 86486155No one wants to be annoying and not know that they are. If it is possible, let people know when they are being annoying. Make sure you approach them in love so that receiving the information about their behavior is easier. If you are an annoying person, be ready to take constructive criticism from a friend. Keep in mind Proverbs 27:17 (NIV): “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Being truthful with an annoying friend may strengthen your friendship. However, confronting an annoying stranger in the crowd may not be wise. In this situation, keep in mind these words from 1 Corinthians 13:4a (NIV): “Love is patient, love is kind.”

—Kimberly Dyer [Ferron, Utah]

 

DIG DEEPER

We will always have annoying people around us. Could God be using annoying people to help us discover how we annoy others, to teach us the truth of God’s word, and to make us more like Christ?

—from devozine (January/February 2014). Copyright © 2013 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.
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