Loving Unlovable People 爱不可爱的人


by Hillary McMullen

人生中充满了以错误的方式蹂躏我们生活的人。无论是在我们的家庭,工作场所,教堂还是社区内,我们都遇到过至少一个让我们感到绝对无法接受的人。也许他们说隐晦的侮辱之言,讲恶搞的笑话,或者干涉我们的私人生活。无论他们烦人或有害的习惯是什么,我们的精神因他们在我们生活中的存在而受到挫折和慌乱。

作为一个基督徒,我们如何应对这种令人难受的人?主耶稣教导我们要无私地爱所有的人。那么我们是不是在我们内心惆怅,甚至哭泣想要逃离这个环境的时候,必须强作欢笑微笑来面对事实吗?在所有这些负面情绪都在表面之下,我们怎么能够真实地表露我们自己呢?

上帝是慈悲,力量和爱的唯一真正来源。如果我们完全接受并完全依赖上帝对我们的爱和宽恕,那么我们就可以从祂的无限供应中取得力量,从而更加热切和真诚地爱别人。我们不可能靠自己的力量来这样做。我们不完全而且有罪的心不能把获得足够的爱来掩盖同伴的弱点和缺陷。即使是那些是对我们最亲近的人,我们偶尔也会失去爱心。我们常常因为爱情的微弱和短暂的尝试失败了 ,我们也就失去了耐心。

对于那些给我们带来痛苦,愤怒或沮丧的人,我也找到了一些方法来帮助我们为他们建立更大的同情心,同理心和爱心。然而,需要说明一下,这些工具最好给那些已经深刻地看到了自己的罪恶,而且需要上帝的恩典、寻求上帝的旨意的人。

  1. 查考上帝的话语。圣经是关于如何与人互动的实用指南的宝库。有时我们可能会觉得圣经与今天的文化相距甚远,感到与我们的生活无关,但经过仔细查考,我们可以看到人性并没有真正改变。圣经提供的智慧仍然与我们的生活息息相关。

  2. 你不知道他们的整个故事。了解某人生活中的艰辛可以给你一个全新的视角和对他们个性的理解。当我们了解了那些对我们不友好者的身世以后,我们就非常容易来决定怎样来改善关系了。如果我们理解他们也感受到了不公正的待遇、对于负担的焦虑和对空虚所感到的痛苦,也许我们不会那么容易地对他们感到愤怒和烦恼了。

  3. 终有可能找到与他们的共同点。令人惊讶的是,如果找到与你所讨论的人共同的东西,可以开始弥合你之间的鸿沟。这共同点可能是类似的童年经历、共同的爱好、或都喜欢同一本书一样简单。这些微小的连接可能看起来毫无意义,但它们可以逐渐改善与他们之间的隔阂。

  4. 沉默是黄金,所以在你说话之前先想一想。有时我们的言语在没有思考以前就蹦了出来,于是愤怒的抨击和不切实际的高姿态评论就以令人难以置信地出口了。但是,一言既出驷马难追。祈求上帝赐给我们自我控制能力和智慧的言语,只说出鼓励,体贴和善良的良言。

  5. 不要把自己太当回事。一项重要的生活技能是学习如何自嘲。我们常常变得如此热衷于证明自己的观点是如何地正确,或者保持我们的自豪感,我们开始忘记我们和其他人一样是人。以谦虚的态度承认自己的错误,不要把自己看的过高。

  6. 不要自找麻烦。千万不要像猎犬那样四处寻找我们敌人的罪行,借此给我们自己火上加油,虽然这样做可能会给我们一些奇怪的满意感,也让我们更加憎恨他们的罪行。由于专注于们的污垢,我们开始对自己的感觉更好。其实,这种心态让我们感到痛苦,没有任何优雅的地方。消除了过敏的态度,就有可能采取耐心和宽恕的态度。

  7. 爱,因为你被爱。原谅,因为你被宽恕了。以弗所书4:32说得最好:“要互相友爱,存温柔的心,彼此饶恕,就像上帝在基督里饶恕了你们一样。”当你想要怀恨在心或与某人保持一段距离时,请记住尽管你犯了很多罪,但主耶稣仍然赐给你丰富的恩典。祂是我们每个人都能深深地,快乐地,自由地爱所有人的原因。

在你的生活中谁是最难相处的人?主耶稣教导我们不仅要在表面上善待和尊重他们,而要从上帝的眼睛来看他们 - 真心充满对他们的理解和同情。祂的榜样和祂改变我们的力量,使我们能够像祂那样所爱所有的人。


讨论问题:

  1. 在这篇文章里,你是否学到了一些新的东西或者让你感兴趣的东西?

  2. 在作者所说的一些内容中,是否有哪一些是你已经在做了的?

  3. 在作者所说的一些内容中,对你来说有哪一些是有挑战性的?(或者对你来说是太难做到的?)为什么?

  4. 你是否还知道有其他的方法也可以来爱那些“不可爱的人”,是作者没有提到的?

  5. 在你的生活中是否有一些人是很难去爱他的?对于这个人,有那些地方让你无法爱他?

  6. 在这个星期里,你有什么样的方式可以向他显示你的爱?

Life is full of people who rub us the wrong way. Whether it's within our family, workplace, church, or community, we've all encountered at least one person who drives us absolutely crazy. Maybe they say sly insults, tell bad jokes, or invade our personal space. Whatever their annoying or hurtful habits are, our spirits are dampened and flustered by their presence in our lives.

As Christians, how do we cope with difficult people? Christ calls us to love selflessly and ceaselessly. So are we just supposed to force a smile and fake a laugh, while inside we're cringing or crying or wanting to flee? How can we possibly be genuine with all these negative emotions broiling just beneath the surface?

The only true source of compassion, strength, and love is God. If we embrace and rely completely on God's love and forgiveness for us, we can then draw from his infinite provision and begin to love others more fervently and sincerely. We can't do it on our own. Our broken, sinful hearts aren't capable of scraping together nearly enough love to cover the foibles and flaws of our fellow humans. We occasionally have trouble loving even those who are dearest to us. So often, our feeble, fleeting attempts at love fall flat and our patience runs dry.

I've found a few ways to help us build greater compassion, empathy, and love for our neighbors—even the ones who have caused us pain, anger, or frustration. It is critical, though, to understand that these tools are best used in the hands of those who have deeply acknowledged their own sin and their need for Christ's grace and direction in their lives.

  1. Consult God's Word. Scripture is a treasure trove of practical advice about how to interact with people. Sometimes we may feel as though the Bible is distant and unrelated to today's culture, but upon closer inspection, we can see that human nature hasn't really changed. The wisdom that the Word provides is still relevant to our lives.

  2. You don't know their whole story. Knowing the hardships in someone's life can give you an entirely new perspective and understanding of their personality. Dealing out judgment comes so easily to us, especially when we are leveling it at someone who makes our lives miserable. But if we remember that they, too, have felt the sting of injustice, the burden of anxiety, and the ache of emptiness, perhaps we won't be so quick to feel anger and annoyance.

  3. It's always possible to establish common ground. It's amazing how finding something in common with a person you take issue with can begin to bridge the chasm between you. It could be something as simple as a similar childhood experience, a shared hobby, or a book you both enjoyed. These tiny tendrils of connection may seem meaningless, but they could gradually improve your interactions.

  4. Silence is golden, so think before you speak. Sometimes our words stumble out of our mouths before we have a chance to censor them. It can be easy to lash out in anger or make condescending comments. But words, once they're said, are irreversible and hold incredible weight. Pray for self-control and the wisdom to speak only what is encouraging, considerate, and kind.

  5. Don't take yourself too seriously. An important life skill is learning how to laugh at yourself. We can become so caught up in proving a point or keeping our pride intact that we start to forget that we are as human as everyone else. A humble attitude admits to faults and views others as equals instead of inferiors.

  6. Don't go looking for trouble. There can be something oddly satisfying about keeping an account of our enemies' sins. Maybe we sniff out offenses like a bloodhound, looking for more fuel to feed our dislike. By focusing on their dirt, we begin to feel better about our own. But this mentality leaves us bitter and allows no room for grace. Shed the attitude of hypersensitivity and instead adopt one of patience and forgiveness.

  7. Love because you are loved. Forgive because you have been forgiven. Ephesians 4:32 puts it best: "Be kind to each another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as   God through Christ has forgiven you." When you feel the need to hold a grudge or keep your love from someone, remember the abundance of grace that is available to you through Jesus, despite your great sin. He is the reason we can each love deeply, joyfully, and freely.

Who are the people in your life who are the most difficult to interact with? Christ has taught us to not only outwardly treat them with kindness and respect, but to also view them through His eyes—with understanding and compassion. His example and transforming power in our lives will equip us to go out and love as He loved.


Discussion Question:

  1. What is something new or interesting you learned from this article?

  2. Which of the ways that the author described is something you already do?

  3. Which of the ways that the author described is a challenge for you (or will be difficult for you to do?) Why?

  4. Do you know of other ways to love the "unlovable" not mentioned by this author?

  5. Is anyone in your life hard to love?  What is it about that person that you struggle with?

  6. What’s one way you can show that person love this week?

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