I think we’ve all encountered them at some point in our lives. Sometimes they are friends, sometimes they are acquaintances or co-workers, and sometimes they are family. I’m talking about Difficult People.
What makes difficult people tick? Do they find it hard to get along with everyone…or just select individuals?
This is an area where I admit openly…I don’t have a clue. Am “I” the one that’s actually difficult to get along with? Jesus, please help me to discern the truth!
Although I don’t have a reliable compass for navigating through such tough relationships, God does.
A few verses come to mind.
Matthew 18:21-22 (NIV)
21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?”
22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
The message? Forgive and keep on forgiving! Good advice.
Matthew 5:22-24 (NIV)
22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment…
23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.
The message? Don’t become angry, even with those who seem to be looking for a fight. Don’t harbor a grudge and bitter feeling that will only prove to eat you from the inside. Such grudges are used by the Devil to separate us from God. Instead, sincerely seek reconciliation. If they aren’t open to reconciliation…put it behind you and do your best to live with love in your heart for them.
Here is another lesson worth following. When you get angry with someone, instead of gossiping about it with others (which only tends to make the problem larger than life), dig into God’s word. Allow God to speak to your heart and advise you on the matter. God’s council is infinitely wise and true.
So, what has been your experience in dealing with difficult people? What works? What doesn’t? From someone who desperately needs help in this area…what advise do you have?