Every place I’ve ever worked at has had a notoriously crabby person. The one person who’s always stirring up trouble and complaining.
It can be hard to know how to deal with difficult coworkers.
At the place I used to work, it was no different. There was this one lady you could talk directly to, and she’d ignore you and pretend you didn’t even exist.
It was bizarre, and my first instinct was to be mad. To get defensive and focus in on how rude she’d treated me.
After all, what had I ever done to her? Did she have something against happy people?
I wanted to complain about her to my co-workers. Surely they’d agree with me about how bad she was.
Then it occurred to me…maybe it wasn’t me. Maybe she just really wasn’t happy.
I had no idea what was going on in her life. Maybe it was all she could do to get out of bed in the morning. Maybe saying hello to someone was beyond her strength at the moment.
So, by the grace of God and battling all my instincts to dislike and judge her, I started praying for her. Whenever my mind wandered to her, or to work in general, I’d try to remember to pray.
It wasn’t very often. I can tell you that much. I didn’t pray on my knees for hours, but when I thought of it, I prayed.
The strangest thing happened.
This woman worked in a different department than me. I didn’t see her often, but a few months later I happened to bump into her in the break room.
I did a double take. She was beaming from ear to ear, laughing and talking to our coworkers.
I even had to ask someone else to make sure it was really her. When they said that it was, I commented, “Wow, she looks so happy.”
With slightly confused awe they responded, “Yes! I don’t know what changed, but she’s been so happy lately.”
I wondered, could it be? Could my simple prayers, imperfect and sporadic as they were, truly have had an impact on a woman I barely knew? It felt like the proof was standing right in front of my eyes, wearing a huge smile.
Sure, this woman wasn’t exactly my enemy, but she definitely wasn’t someone I liked.
In praying for her though, I was blessed. Witnessing her transformation encouraged me in faith and prayer.
Do you have a crabby, difficult coworker?
I invite you to leave a complaint about them in the comments.
I’m kidding, I’m kidding!
Offer up a few personal prayers for them and see what happens. If the person is open to God’s grace, maybe you’ll get to witness a miraculous transformation of your own!
The same can be said for volunteer groups you’re a part of or prayer groups you lead. If you have someone who is causing a problem or being disruptive to the group with their negative attitude, try to pray for them.
See what happens. What do you have to lose?