In previous posts, we have looked at Christian people who are clueless, divisive, mean, agenda-driven, purist, etc. In this final post in the series, I want to briefly talk about those people who sort of rub you the wrong way.
The Annoying Christian
It is hard to say just why some people are sometimes annoying. It could be that your personality is opposite to theirs in key ways. They may come from a culturally different background from yours. You may think they talk too much, or that they are stuck up, or that they crave being the center of attention. It is important to keep in mind that just because certain people bother you, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are in the wrong. It may just be that you don’t hit it off together. As far as I can tell, there is no place in scripture that commands believers to like one another. There are plenty of places where we are commanded to love one another, but love and liking are not necessarily the same thing. Consider the words of Ephesians 4:2, “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” The bottom line is that you just have to put up with some folks in Christian love.
- Sometimes you may have misjudged the annoying person. Getting to know them could change your opinion.
- Sometimes it helps to learn that other people find the person who annoys you to be funny, helpful, or even someone they deeply respect. Seeing the person through others’ eyes can give perspective.
- Sometimes it helps to create some distance without speaking badly of the person or noticeably avoiding them in public.
- Sometimes the problem may be you. Has God allowed this person to come into your life to reveal an attitude or character flaw that you need to work on?
It is my hope that this brief overview will be helpful to those facing difficult people in their churches and Christian organizations. There is no easy or fool-proof methodology, but perhaps knowing what may be driving various types of people will be a help. Then trusting God to work through us as we follow the mandates of scripture will be a bit easier.
In other posts in this series, we look at mean people, agenda-driven people, divisive people, and others who cause conflict.
Michael Bogart, EdD