Recently, the hair salon I go to underwent a renovation and replaced a row of chairs in front of the shampoo bowls. As I sat down in one of the new chairs, I flipped the handle on the side of the chair to get into a reclining position.
My chair didn’t move, but I noticed the legs of an elderly lady to my right flying into the air. I had flipped HER into a reclining position mid-shampoo!
Horrified, I tried to figure out why this had happened.
I noticed the chairs were very close together and that the handles were located on the left side of each chair. Because I am right-handed, I had assumed the handle that operated my chair was on the right side.
Well, it wasn’t. So, I said to the lady shampooing my hair, “Why would people make chairs with a handle on the left side?” She answered me with a question, “For left-handed people?”
And then, I realized how insensitive I must have seemed, expecting the whole world and everything in it to accommodate right-handed people.
I, however, had never experienced life as a left-handed person. As a result, some things would never occur to me because of this.
We all naturally approach life from our world view, our life experiences, and even our expectations.
Sometimes we “flip people out.”
Sometimes people “flip us out.”
Sometimes it is intentional, and sometimes it is not. Often, it is hard to tell the difference because the result is the same.
When we consider that every person is a different combination of temperaments, love languages, world views, and life history, is it surprising that we sometimes shake up other people’s world, and they ours? Add hurt, injustice, and bitterness to the mix and it really becomes complicated.
We may mean well, but when we approach life from our temperament type, try to love others with our love language, and assume they have had the same life experiences we have known, it doesn’t always go well.
Jesus beautifully demonstrated how to relate to a variety of people.
He knew the entire time that Judas was going to betray Him, but the disciples didn’t have a clue because Jesus didn’t give them one.
Jesus also had among His chosen 12 two who would be selfish enough to request the best seats in heaven, one who spoke before he thought, another who made it known that he was the one Jesus loved, two who were likely known as “sons of thunder” because of their fiery temperaments, and one who was prone to doubt.
It really sounds like an annoying group in some ways. Jesus once asked His inner circle of this group to pray about a very important prayer request, but they didn’t even last an hour before falling asleep.
Jesus didn’t change the truth of His teaching to accommodate the imperfections and differences of His disciples.
He loved and guided them from where they were to where they needed to be.
Most of them ended up giving their lives for standing faithful to the truth He came to earth to bring.
Judas, however, did not. The Bible says that Satan put it into the heart of Judas to betray Jesus. There are situations involving people where “…our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against…the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Eph 6:12, NIV)
Sometimes evil is behind relationship problems, sometimes the challenge is caused by the complexity of our differences, and often it is a combination of the two.
And yet the Bible teaches “…this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another…” (1 John 3:23, NIV)
Prayer helps us do this.
May God grant us “…the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives…” (Col 1:9, NIV) so that we may “…please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.” (Col 1:10, NIV)Christians cannot ignore loving others well because it is at the center of Christianity. Click To Tweet
May God give us the grace to make the effort to understand, value, and love in a way that honors Him.