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Thursday, March 15, 2012
About 30 years ago, I first heard the term "Irregular Person" (IP for short). Author and Christian Humorist, Joyce Landorf, introduced this term in one of her books and a series of films on the subject. The IP concept has stayed with me all this time. Simply put, an IP is someone close, a friend, neighbor, coworker, or even a relative, who can just get under the skin and irritate. We all have at least one. I know you do. For all I know, I'm one of them.
I remember watching an episode of "Falcon Crest" with my family when Jane Wyman was "Being Angela". My mother remarked that "She could be somebody's irregular person". In the interest of equal time Look at "Dallas" and tell me that the same couldn't be said about ol' JR. Watching these people on TV is entertaining. But when it's YOUR aunt, or YOUR brother in law, the entertainment value just jumps out the window, doesn't it!
God puts this IP in our life to test us. Jesus challenges us to love our neighbor, but what if your neighbor isn't lovable. I'm afraid none of the gospels allow for that or any other exception. I suppose one could move, and hope for a better neighbor, but what if you find someone worse!
We as humans are selfish by nature. If someone makes us feel uncomfortable, we dislike them. This is where love comes in. We can't change other people, so we have to do what love demands, and change ourself. Is it easy? By no means! The apostle Paul tells us in one of his letters ( I forget which one, but trust me it's in there) that if we go out of our way to be nice to the people that mistreat us, it's like heaping hot coals on their heads. Some would rather heap the hot coals directly, but that would be too easy.
Most IP have an excuse. A doctor says they have ADD, OCD, BFD, or LSMFD and make the rest of us want to shout OMG. I don't have an excuse. Still, I know that God made me irregular. I am one of the most difficult, maybe even impossible, people to love. Those who are closest to me are often frustrated because they don't know what to do with me. That's where prayer comes in. It's pretty hard to make a fist while praying.
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