I can be annoying…especially when it comes to celebrating. For some of you readers, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Some personality assessments define this as “enthusiasm” among other characteristics, but I’d like to explore this a little more for those of you who aren’t sure what I’m talking about yet…
1) If I were a Winnie the Pooh character, I would be Tigger. I love to bounce from thing to thing with GREAT enthusiasm, and some of you readers may too. I’m rarely sitting still and I’m eternally optimistic. I have more ideas in a moment than anyone should in a lifetime. Annoying Factor? For anyone who is ever so faintly an introvert or apt to a calmer, more mellow personality type, OR a realist or pessimist, OR may not jump from one topic to another so quickly, I can rate rather high in annoying.
2) According to the Enneagram test I am a seven with a wing six, which translates to “I’m an enthusiast with a high value of loyalty.” Annoying Factor? I don’t look for how things can go wrong which can definitely get me into trouble and if I feel betrayed, I shut down and can become very emotional. It is easier for people with this personality type to move a parked car than to open it again. This can be very unrealistic or annoying to others with varying personality types.
3) If I were an animal I would be an otter. I want everyone to be on board and having a good time. Fun is my middle name and if something isn’t fun, I don’t really want to do it. I’m sure you know someone else like this too. Annoying Factor? Most times not everyone agrees and there are lots of things in life that just aren’t fun. These qualities can be very annoying to others, especially in times when there are disagreements and no fun things to do…these qualities can be annoying to some when things are VERY FUN since people like me will go nuts.
4) According to various Word Pictures, I am a watering pot. In the UK, a watering pot is what we call in the USA a watering can. I am like a watering pot since it takes very little for me to cry. I cry at Hallmark commercials, my kids’ baby pictures, and whenever I talk about God. Annoying Factor? If you don’t like emotion or tears, I am definitely annoying.
All of this to say that we are each very different, and sometimes other people can be annoying to us and we can be annoying to other people. It is very easy to become frustrated and annoyed with others around Christmas time. People are in our way, singing too loudly, celebrating the season too excitedly for our taste or aren’t celebrating excitedly enough, the Christmas season brings bad memories, and the like.
Sometimes relationships are not easy because of these differences, and when relationships are challenging we each have the opportunity to act godly. The ultimate goal in every season and every relationship is to glorify the God who became a person to live among us. It is in our most difficult times and seasons that we have the greatest opportunity to display His grace to others in our lives.
Sometimes we end up marching into these annoying times and focus more on our frustration with others than the grace and love and mercy offered to us by our Lord. We may become too frustrated and caught up in our own worlds that we forfeit opportunities to show God’s grace, love, and mercy to others, and we fail to bring glory to God in our words and actions when this happens.
Dear reader, don’t you think that one of the best gifts we can give each other this season is to enter into celebration of the season determining to acknowledge our annoyances with others but not act on our annoyances and choose to bring glory to God in our words and actions to one another? We don’t have to pretend that we like everyone else’s expressions of joy or lack thereof, and we don’t have to pretend that we enjoy the business of the season at the grocery store or lines when Christmas shopping, or even the choices of those around us this season. But we certainly can graciously accept and be extraordinarily kind to one another in this very busy season. Doing so will glorify our Savior and show grace to those around us.
God came down to live among us and gave us His Son as an expression of His love toward His beloved. Alongside of the fancy clothes, special edibles, and magnificent gifts this season, let’s intentionally prepare to give the gift of love when it is most needed to those around us. Let’s choose not to show our frustrations, but instead show grace to others that comes from the salvation we have received in Christ.
Here is a good 1 Cor. 13 checklist to help us this season. We can all use this to make sure our mindset and heartset are ready to go before us as we attend this year’s celebrations:
- Love is patient and kind
- Love does not envy, boast, or dishonor others
- Love is not proud, self-seeking, or easily angered
- Love keeps no record of wrongs
- Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth
- Love always protects, trusts, hopes, and perseveres
- Love never fails
We’ll check it once and check it twice as we pray that the Spirit fills us with His fruit of love so that we will be a blessing to all those who annoy us this holiday season.