People Are People: And Some Days Will Drive You Absolutely Insane



Today I’m unusually bitter and sad about people, and I’m so very tired and cynical over everything, including myself.

May I be honest here? People are people and sometimes people will drive you insane, and some days I just want to pack up and take the next spaceship off the planet.

I know I’m not supposed to say any of this because Christian bloggers and pastors are so inspirational and full of “never-give-up” pep. We love our slogans and re-tweetable one-liners. I want to be part of the cute punchy Instagrams with the sugary Christianese quotes. But days like today, I just want to give up on everyone. At times being positive makes me feel downright sick. I want to flip a table and go to sleep for a month and I look at my Bible and laugh.

People can be so maddeningly frustrating, and I know this because I disappoint myself too. We can be in the trenches with someone for months and months, pouring out grace and absorbing all the hurt and sharing life to the bottom, but that person might do what they want anyway. I know that no one owes me anything and this isn’t about “listening to me.” I’m not trying to pull pity here. It just hurts to see a person that you invested in so completely lose it and drop off the face of the earth.

I usually hear from people when they’re desperately in need. I never get to see the other side when it’s better, and maybe I have to be okay with the unresolved-ness of it all. What I’m asking for sounds petty and unreasonable, and again, that’s not to say, “Oh poor me.” But I wish I had more reason to hope, more reason to stay. It’s so selfish, but I wonder why I keep doing this.

I’m learning that faithfulness is more important than fruitfulness, because even when there are no results and rewards, I’m still meant to run this race. Yet I’m also learning that most of the race will be hard work, in silence, amidst people who often don’t care, with little evidence that we’re making a difference and many failed heartbreaks of seeing others walk away. I’m learning this can be a cruel, thoughtless, heartless world, and to be a fleeting flash of light is so much better, and so rare. I’m learning again and again to trust God for what I cannot see, because He’s the only one who heals hearts to glory. I’m learning to encourage others along the way, because so many never get to hear that they’re doing all right, and I want to be the one voice in the crowd that actually breathes life, even when it’s for a second and forgotten.

— J.S.


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48 thoughts on “People Are People: And Some Days Will Drive You Absolutely Insane

  1. “Christian bloggers and pastors are so inspirational and full of “never-give-up” pep.”

    LOL, not me! I’m full of misery and angst and frustration. Believing in God is easy, believing in His people is much more difficult.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Reminds me of one of my favorite quotes by Francis Chan:

      “The fact is, I need God to help me love God. And if I need His help to love Him, a perfect being, I definitely need His help to love other, fault-filled humans.”

      Liked by 2 people

  2. It is true JS, in ministry the line between heart-protected and jaded is a thin one indeed. It is something I regularly struggle with. This time we are called to minister in is that time Jesus spoke of ” because of the increase of wickedness the lice of most will grow cold, but he who endures to the end will be saved.”
    Don’t give up brother, you do not know what fruit this work is bearing. Much of it will lie hidden from sight until the resurrection of the just.
    Be blessed. JE

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When you said “lice of most will grow cold,” I’m guessing you meant “love.” 🙂

      Thank you dear friend. It’s such a tricky ground. Every time I think about quitting, I wonder if this is bad or normal or if I’m doing it wrong. I suppose it was always going to feel that way, and I can’t help but get back in the fray.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Please just be yourself with bitterness and doubts and all. It’s okay. It’s much more helpful to me (and I suspect others as well). The pep-talks always make me tune out at best, or just plain run away at worst.

    I hope I’m not one of those people who have “dropped off the face of the earth.” I’ve actually been pondering your message and working out what that means in my life before responding. The subject of pain and suffering is unpleasant and difficult (and time consuming) to process.

    How frustrating it must be to be turned to in times of need and then ignored! I’ve experienced this as well to my deep hurt. I sincerely try not to do that to others, although I probably fail at it like most people.

    Most turn to God typically only when they are in crisis, so in this way you are experiencing what God must experience ALL the time. When I really think about it I ponder how sad it must make Him and alternatively how delighted He must be when people come to Him for the sole purpose of spending time with Him.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry, I know the post sounded passive-aggressive at certain people, but I really didn’t have anyone specific in mind, whether online or close by.

      And right on. I mean I definitely don’t expect anything back every time I put myself out there; otherwise, I wouldn’t really be helping, but just opportunistic. I think the difficult part is not knowing if it did anything, if it worked or didn’t, the whole follow-through. Sometimes I’d just like to know, but I think I need to leave that part up to Him too.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I would never assume you were being passive aggressive. Ha, maybe I’m speaking out of my own hurt about lack of reciprocity in my life. It’s the hard part for me in sorting out when my anger is justified and I should confront others and when I should just let God deal with it. That was my own take on it. But I think I see where you are coming from. Is it the question of whether or not your efforts are going wasted and without input from how do you know? I find it fascinating and frustrating that there is so much going on under the surface that we can just never know.

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  4. Oh, J! A person in my inner circle ripped my heart out today. I gotta forgive that person, but first I gotta pick up my mashed-up heart and smoosh it back into something that Can forgive. Yet again. Thank you for your post today. Thank you, thank you, thank, you.
    😐 m

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sorry Maureen. I know we’re called to jump toward forgiveness, but oftentimes I also need to let it simmer, so that I can understand why I was hurt and the degree to which it is my own issue and theirs. Of course, maybe you’re quick to forgive, and I absolutely commend you for that. Throwing you a prayer today. 🙂

      Like

  5. Dear brother, Js park
    Iam a pastor and I know to some degree what you are going threw. May I just say on the sea shore of life there are a lot of star fish that wash up on the banks of life and are stuck . THANK YOU!! Threw your blog Iam back in the ocean were I belong. Your love for Christ matters to this lonly starfish.

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    1. Yes, seven years of pastoral ministry for me (now on an extended break since last year), and it was the most insanely difficult and most rewarding of times. Glad we can swim through this together!

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  6. I love this, J.S. I love your realness and your commitment to honesty. This is exactly how I felt this morning. Thanks for reminding me of the good and that I’m not alone.

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    1. Hey Lori! Great to hear from you and thank you for sharing the post too.
      I really wondered if I was whining with this post or drawing fake pity, but you know, I never met someone who doesn’t feel this way sometimes. Glad we’re fighting the good fight together ..!

      Like

  7. Goid Morning Pastor Park … I feel your pain through your writing .. The internet is wonderful and awful all at the same time … Although you may NEVER hear back from the people that email you or even wonder if anyone reads you blog … There are uncounted persons reading your work or someone behind the scene is forwarding your message via email .. God will always use us to further his work … Keep on keeping on and remember Your Father knows your heart .. God Bless

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    1. Thank you dear friend. I know I can’t be worried about how many views or anything like that. There was a time when I had barely ten views per week! I think the tough part is “not knowing.” But in the end, I’m grateful to be the unsung champion for even one person, or even just to preach to myself.

      Like

  8. Real messages like this bring me closer to Christ than perfect Christian messages from great brothers and sisters of Christ who seem to have it all together but are never really this vulnerable.

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    1. Thank you my dear friend, it’s such a fine line. I always wonder if I’m revealing too much or if people will stop trusting me or if I’m suddenly “disqualified.” I’m just glad the online world has the space for our openness.

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  9. JS we all have times of wanting to forget it all. It is hard not knowing how others were affected by your response to them. So often we get very discouraged and feel like the city dump site! The enemy is wanting you to quit because you are close to breaking through into another level. The bread you toss on water will return to you with increase, in due season. I so enjoy your blog and realness!

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    1. Thank you! Discouragement is really the worst. I tend to let it get under my skin, and I don’t have a button to “turn it off.” Also, sometimes I wish God would let me stay at this level instead of breaking through into another, hah 🙂 Thank you so much for your kind words!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We don’t get to choose the unique design and destiny he has for each one of us. I have wanted to quit so many times but after a time of wallowing in self pity (more than I like to admit) I get up and keep going. You will too JS. The destiny that God has for you is beyond awesome! Make the devil mad he ever messed with you because you’re operating so much higher and kicking his butt because of what he has done to you! I know he regrets crucifying Jesus but it’s too late!

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  10. Pastors and cops have very difficult lives, and for the same reason. No one ever calls them when things are going great. When they are contacted, it has already hit the fan and splattered everywhere.

    Hang in there brother. As you try to remember (and cling hopefully/hopelessly to) whom you truly serve when you serve the body, joy becomes you.

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    1. Thank you brother Jerry! Yes, for every one time I’ve done preventative counseling, I’ve probably done ten counts of damage control. But that’s what we signed up for. 🙂

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  11. I had very similar experiences until I understood the reality of the soul. I found the soul to be the source of self-worth but I had alienated myself from it because I thought there was something more important. No matter how hard I tried, things never felt right and I could never feel good enough. I now realize that a healthy connection with the soul is necessary for our well-being. Without it, the world goes to madness as history can attest.

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  12. Thank you J.S. once again your brutal honesty wins the day. I don’t want line nice statements and phony smiles when life is hard and brutal. I want real and gut wrenching honesty and even tears that you are just like me in your struggles. When I get phony 1 line nice I can smell the fakeness in all of that! It is a lie straight from the pit of hell that says as a Christian nothing but nice one liners is going to happen to me. I would much rather have you say to me that life is so flipping hard I want to run away. If life is hard and down right messy than I expect that ministry is even harder and even more down right messy. I mean even Jesus asked God the Father to take away the cup before Him. There is not 1 single character in the whole Bible that God used that had no problems and that life was easy not one. So if Jesus and others in Scripture had it painful and messy why do so many folks think that fake and phony is acceptable and nothing hard or painful will come to them. Life more often than not hurts and is crappy and the phoniness will only lead me to a path of not really asking Him or others.

    I had a friend who chose to walk away from God because “God broke His promise” to her that if she gave her life to Him she would never have any problems and God would be there and nothing bad would ever hit her again. I am like really where in the Bible does it even say that? He only promises to walk through it with me.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. The wife and I really love this blog and appreciate the creativity and imagery you provide. We would like to encourage you to keep writing and never abandon this blog. When you decide to have a mobile app version, we would love to help. I appreciate the hard work you have put into this blog and wish you all future success in business and in life.

    Thank you for your time, it is the most precious thing we all possess.
    -Jacque’

    Like

  14. Your message is a reality that some of us Christians are fearful to admit to. There is bravery in your words and the fact that you feel so human is because you are. Being a Christian is not about perfection but it is about striving to do His will in spite of the fact that you might not see the rewards. One day we will reap eternal rewards and these will far outweigh any worldly disappointments. Our purpose is to do what we can and leave it in God’s hands, so we’ll done to you!

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  15. I enjoyed the honesty of this post. Thanks for sharing! I have just started a poetry blog here on WordPress in case you have time to have a look? Wishing you a sunny afternoon, Sam 🙂

    Like

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