Day 15: Thankful for the Difficult People

Every November, I use the space here on Everyday Truth to provide you with a family devotional to get your family focused on their blessings. Join me here every day for a new installment of the devotional. It’s a great way to get your family focused on Thanksgiving before the mad rush to Christmas. You can find the the days you’ve missed here and any printables here, then follow along with me all month to learn about being thankful for the people in your family’s life. Pin it, share it, tweet it, invite your friends to join you. It’s going to be a great month.

A Thankful Heart

We all have them, people in our lives who rub us the wrong way. People who, for whatever reason, are just hard for us to get along with. It might be a personality thing. It might be the way that person has treated us in the past. It might be that we don't really know them well enough. Whatever the reason we have a difficult relationship with another person, we can still be thankful for them.

That sounds weird, doesn't it? Why would we be thankful for people who make our lives difficult? Why would we be thankful for the people in our lives who are hard for us to love?

We should be thankful for the those people because they teach us the most about dealing with others. When we're dealing with a difficult relationship, we learn to be patient. We learn to offer grace. We learn to speak the truth in love. We learn how to be kind when circumstances are not ideal. We learn to love unconditionally.

Jesus said, "But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:44-45). When we deal with difficult relationships with love and grace, we act as children of God. Those people who rub us the wrong way give us an opportunity to act like true children of God. They give us the opportunity to choose to show love even when we don't want to.

Being thankful for the difficult people in our lives is a challenge. It's much easier to want to have those relationships just fade away. But remember this: You may be the only person in that person's life who can be a picture of Jesus to them. You may never see the results of treating that person kindly, but it will make a difference, and you will be changed for the better.

So, today, be thankful for the difficult relationships in your life because they are the relationships that allow God to shine through you.


Action step: Choose a person that you have a difficult time getting along with. Pray for that person all day today. Find some way to be kind to them today that you don't normally do. It can be as simple as talking to them or as difficult as asking them to sit with you at lunch. Find a way to be a picture of Jesus to that person today.