If you really can’t stand this person

Now, you need to face it, you really dislike this person.

There’s something about the way they talk, it’s their opinions, it’s their smirk or big-headedness.

It’s the way they run things in your corner of the world, your parish, your school.

Something puts you off. Something, somehow, is totally off, you think. First, you hide it from yourself because it’s not cool to despise anyone, but later, you have to admit it:

you dislike this person and you hate seeing how things suffer both under this person’s influence and inside of you, because you dislike him/her so much.

You wonder what to do.

First, you pour your heart out to your friends.

You recognise quickly, however, that your relief is short-lived and your whining makes other people dislike that person, too, and the overall atmosphere deteriorates.

Well, it’s not that smart, after all. And it’s your fault. Go back. Different strategy.

You confront the person in earnest or jokingly, thinking, “I should be more direct and tell them that their attitude is annoying”.

Whatever you say falls on deaf ears and it’s back to square one. You end up feeling like a cheap preacher and you’ve aggravated the situation: the other was not receptive.

The smirk is magnified or the person becomes even more obnoxious. At least you’ve tried, right?

So now it’s time (and it was time all along) to realize that you need to pray for him/her.

Not “so they become exactly as you wish” (it won’t work), but you pray for them to God, because God knows them best.

God loves that obnoxious person as much as he loves you (surprise! Is that possible?).

He will use your prayer to their benefit.

That way, you can adopt this person. You take spiritual responsibility for them, even if you don’t really know what they need. You don’t even need to know, frankly.

God only knows and that is enough.

You go past your annoyance and hurt. If there’s anything difficult in your day, you go ahead and offer it up, for them.

You realize that you’ve become sincerely interested in that person’s welfare.

Now it’s less about you, it’s more about letting God do the work.

And so you carry on, preferably until your last day.

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