I have a student who is to put it mildly – annoying. I discovered this the first day of class. I had him 4th block. So I used my 3rd block planning period to pray, worship, and meditate to prepare for him. Yesterday, he unexpectedly got move to my 2nd block, and I did not have time to mentally prepare. Let’s just say, he provoked my second language in which I am fluent, sarcasm.
But then I remembered the first chapter in my upcoming book – Touched. When confronted with difficult people, instead of immediately judging them, perhaps we should try to understand why they behave the way they do. Maybe we should understand their backstory. So I went to speak with the child’s counselor. No major red flags. He has some anxiety and apparently his father is condescending as well.
From experience I know, the need to be the smartest person in the room comes from low self esteem and insecurity. If his father is condescending, he has probably dealt with his father’s criticism all of his life. He has probably needed to prove his value to his father and now feels the needs to prove his value to everyone by being incredibly obnoxious.
Does his backstory excuse his behavior? No. But it changes how I interact with him. Instead of seeing a gigantic butthead, I see a little boy begging for validation. He doesn’t need my sarcasm, he needs God’s unconditional acceptance and love. God has chosen me to demonstrate that.
That irritating butthead in your life has a backstory. They have a God-sized hole that needs filling. Ask God to help you see their backstory, so that you can be a walking demonstration of God’s love for them. Pray this with me:
God give us eyes to see the backstory in people’s lives. Help us love people who are at their worse. Give us wisdom to be a demonstration of your love in each of their lives. Let us lay down our own pride, and humbly serve those who, according to the world, doesn’t deserve it but for whom Jesus died. Teach me to respond in kindness.
“Respond gently when you are confronted and you’ll defuse the rage of another. Responding with sharp, cutting words will only make it worse. Don’t you know that being angry can ruin the testimony of even the wisest of men?”
Proverbs 15:1 TPT