Love those “Ratty” People

Welcome to the new edition of my “GoodLife Sunday” posts! 🙂 I realized it’s hard for me to do them over the weekend, and plus the lessons faith can teach us pop up all the time, not just on Sundays 😉 Before I begin, please remember that GoodLife posts and lessons are not meant to be preachy. I hope to share things I have learned through my own journey with Christ as well as discussions that weighed on my heart from the Sunday class I lead or sermons I attend or even songs I hear. I think there is something for all of us to take away from these posts, no matter our beliefs, so I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy sharing them. 🙂

That leads us to today. This afternoon, I went to the park to meet up with a friend. The weather was gorgeous – sunny and in the 70s. There was lots to talk about with my friend and the opportunity to see Makenzie having all sorts of fun playing in the park. Now, this situation would not always have been so enjoyable. Why? Mainly because a few years ago I would not have chosen to spend time just the two of us if I could avoid it. I was hesitant to grow a friendship with her then solely because of some of her more abrasive qualities – she likes to gossip about other friends, perhaps enjoys creating drama, will hold a grudge, and can be manipulative to have things work out best for her. Today I realized that yesterday’s sermon applied to my relationship with her and how thankful I am to be able to know God’s love and experience it in my own heart.

The youth pastor led our sermon yesterday in church, discussing a missions trip he had recently taken where he encountered a pretty unlovable little girl upon first impressions. She was dirty, rude, smelled very badly, would not follow directions, impulsive, exhausting, and the list went on. He thought of her as “Ratty Girl”.

Maybe not ratty...but definitely unlovable

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He then went on to describe how she was so “bad” that she took up all of his energy in trying to keep her out of trouble and that he approached it very negatively…until a fellow pastor praised him for showing love and spending time with one of the children that needed to be shown affection and cared for the most. Ouch! That probably hurt the conscience a bit.

Well instead of feeling guilty or continuing in his negative mood, he chose to take a lesson from it. That there are people in our lives – friends, family members, coworkers, roommates, or maybe fellow bloggers even, that can rub us the wrong way.

sandpaper

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It is easier to dislike them or avoid them than to reach out and embrace them with the love of God. We are meant to be God with skin on and none of us are perfect. Not a single one. We ALL have qualities that we are not proud of or perhaps we are even unaware of that are not too good. What are we to do? Look past the negative and focus on the positive in others. Treat others the way we want to be treated. Love our neighbor as ourself. That doesn’t mean we have to condone something harmful in another person, but it does mean we are no one to judge and that we should share the love. And reaching out in love to them could maybe even lead to a friendship where you can enjoy a sunny day in the park. 😉

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16 Responses to Love those “Ratty” People

  1. abbynormally says:

    What a beautiful post! I know that in my own experience, the most ratty people are the ones who need love the most! “But God demonstrated his love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

    Love your blog, glad I found you!! 🙂

  2. Hey Tina! I LOVE your Good Life posts and I agree that they can be taken to heart by ANYONE no matter their religion. You are amazing and I love your blog even though I don’t comment enough. I’ll try to comment more. 🙂

  3. katiivey says:

    I think you hit the nail on the head. None of us are perfect! Once we realize that, we can give grace to others around us.

  4. Danielle says:

    I loved reading this 🙂 I definitely need to start focusing more on the positive.

    The last pic of your daughter is adorable!

  5. kbwood says:

    beautiful post!! once we realize how imperfect we are, we realize how much we need Gods love and NEED to share it! thanks for being an inspiration 🙂

  6. lindsayruns says:

    I really like this post, it’s hard to be positive around people who are just negative. But it’s good for the soul, theirs and ours!

    Thanks for the reminder!

  7. Reading about God is such a mood lifter if I can’t make it to church. Thank you for sharing the love!

  8. Vee says:

    I enjoyed reading this post. One of my favourite mottos is from Edna Buchanan: ‘True friends are those who really know you but love you anyway’.

  9. lessonstolearn says:

    You are so right! We are often too quick to judge. I was a counselor for 6 years before going back to school this year, and I worked with a lot of kids. A lot of “bad” kids. But they all had a story. They all behaved how they did for very understandable reasons if you stopped to listen to them. Thanks for the reminder 🙂

  10. Nicole says:

    I should read this post every morning. My co-worker and peer is so difficult. She drains me, but it’s because I let her get to me so badly. This was a great post, thank you!!

  11. I think it’s so key to realize that we too may rub someone else the wrong way. That’s so easy to forget!

  12. Love this post!! You are so so right and I’m SO guilty of this.

  13. I love this post-what you say is so, so true!

  14. Therese says:

    What a wonderful post! It’s so easy to intentionly not let certain people in your life because we perceive them as negative but sometimes these are the people who need us the most!

  15. Ameena says:

    Great post…I agree it is so much easier to dislike a person than to embrace them with understanding. I definitely need to get busy on this!! I am quite guilty of just writing people off.

  16. Melissa says:

    I love getting Life Reminders from so many of your posts. I need to work on focusing on the positive I see in others rather than dwelling on the negative. I tend to get hung up on complaining about people when I should be looking for their good sides.

    Thanks Tina!

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