One morning, I woke up to a TV so loud, I was sure they could hear it in Cambodia. With a few phone calls, I got her in for a hearing test. Sure enough, years of infection had created a situation that had to be remedied with tubes.
I think that sometimes we are like that. Our “infections” might be emotional triggers, but the damage of life can cause us to shut off our listening skills and tuck our compassion safely away. To others we appear irresistible. In truth, our ears are plugged and we need help.
What do you do when people push all your triggers? How do you love them like Jesus does?
1. Admit that you really are powerless. You might have noticed that in some things, it really is an act of God for you to even want to be different. As long as you are trying to be compassionate in a difficult situation, you are probably going to be drained of all energy AND fail miserably.
2. Know that God can make the real difference for you. God loves your difficult people more than you can imagine. He can miraculously work in you and in them to make compassion and real relationship possible.
3. Ask God to make the difference. Turn it over and let God do the work. There was a time when I realized that one of my difficult people was never going to change. When I was around her, I was sooo triggered. Even when I tried to listen and show compassion, I was prickly and defensive. Then I started praying for her every day. After a very short time, I found our interactions changed. For as long as I prayed, God made the difference.
Listening isn’t always easy. Maybe your personal pressures have reached epic level, or the strain of responsibility has you stretched then. Maybe, like me, you have personal triggers that make some people feel impossible.
- You are powerless
- God is powerful
- Ask Him to do it.
This sounds so basic, yet it is the basics that we tend to forget under stress. Sometimes we need our own ear-tube surgery – the power of the Holy Spirit opening up our heart and our ears to see others the way He does and calm our fears even under the worst of circumstances.