One of the biggest tests we will ever face is dealing with negative people, their horrible attitudes and sour dispositions. Sadly we encounter them everyday. Making this test one we must learn to pass. Or risk becoming one of them.
Here's a few examples;
Upon your arrival at work you're invited to a meeting held by a bitter boss demanding to know why you haven't been more productive. Realizing quickly that it's useless to explain the cantankerous co- workers assigned to your team make any type of productivity difficult at best.
Exhausted from your work week you arrive at church desperate for a Word from The Lord. Only to be greeted by a grouchy greeter who quickly passes you off to an unstable usher for the purpose of finding you a seat. Immediately discovering once you sit down you have a wonderful view of the cranky choir preparing to sing the songs of Zion.
Now as much as I have tried to add a little humor to a very touchy subject, the fact still remains being around these type of people is anything but humorous. At times it's outright painful.
During one particular season of my life it was necessary I be around a lady that I will simple describe as gruff. At this time separating myself from the environment was not an option. I did everything in my power to make this relationship work only for her to become more gruff.
Clearly understanding that everyone will have a bad day every now and then. She however seemed to have those days everyday. After a while I began to think that maybe something was seriously wrong. Surely she was not born this way.
A divine encounter provided me with the answer I was seeking. Overhearing a very heated conversation between Mrs Gruff I will call her, and another individual it became very clear I had been dealing with a deeply hurt and wounded individual. I began to weep. Feeling very ashamed of the limited way I had viewed her.
Once I had knowledge of the serious issues she was facing and realizing that her rough and sour demeanor were just a mask. One she had developed and perfected over time for the sole purpose of keeping others away. Away from discovering her deep pain. With knowledge I was better prepared to deal with her.
And this is what I did;
Don't just think about your own affairs, but be interested in others too, and in what they are doing. Philippians 2:4 (The Living Bible)
No longer concerned for myself I became concerned for her. Putting her interest and what she was going through ahead of mine.
Immediately I experienced a difference. Not in her but in me. My entire attitude changed. Instead of putting so much focus and energy on her negativity I had come to know all too well. I now used that energy to be more patient, kind and gentle. Amazingly this was freeing. I ultimately discovered it was not her gruff attitude that was weighing me down it was the energy I gave in allowing it to bother me.
The day did come that I separated from Mrs Gruff. I often wondered how she was doing. Another divine encounter occurred for me to find out. She is doing well.
I would like to think God used me to help change her. Maybe He did or maybe He didn't. The important thing is change happened in both her and I.
Next time you encounter a Mr or Mrs Gruff ask yourself if they are wearing a mask. Worn for the purpose of covering up pain. You never know. They just may be.
Perhaps you see similarities between yourself and Mrs Gruff and realize this is not a way you want to live the rest of your life. If that is the case I know someone who specializes in healing hurt and pain. You only need to ask Him.
Now let me be clear not all negative people are wounded and dealing with pain. Some are let's just say " That way".
The only way I have found to deal with those types is by way of a simple prayer;
"Lord have mercy on them and give me more grace. Amen".
Sonja Burketh, Inspirational Speaker and Writer
Founder of “Daily Moment of Thought” online devotional.
For additional information please email firstname.lastname@example.org