Love. Follow. Be like Christ.
Yeah, most of us have heard those commands.
Maybe we would even say that we do our best to do those things.
But do we really?
What about that person that just absolutely drives you crazy? Maybe they're loud. Maybe they're immature. Maybe they're a know-it-all.
How do you respond to them? Irritation. Aggravation. Avoidance.
Or maybe you don't stop there, maybe you "vent" to others. Or maybe they become the butt of your jokes.
The bottom line is that they are ostracized, sidelined, ultimately rejected.
Yet, the example we're supposed to be following was completely different. Ephesians 4:2 says, "Patiently put up with each other and love each other." Seriously, it says "put up" with them.
That doesn't mean bide your time until you can run to your circle of friends and dump all the frustration and anger that's been stewing. It means being patient, kind and just plain getting over it when they annoy you.
Force yourself to act in love. Because when you do you'll find that "love covers a multitude of sins." (Gal. 5:21) You will notice that aggravating behavior less and less because instead you will begin to discover who that person really is and what they can bring to the relationship.
And in the end we need to realize it's very likely that some of the people we are around find us just as annoying as we find others.
How do you want them to respond?