What does God say about dealing with difficult people?

It is really hard sometimes. It is grind your teeth, try not to spit nails hard.

“I’m so mad I could spit nails!” my mama used to say (usually after someone made one of her kids cry AKA me because I was a huge baby growing up)

Well what do you do when your mouth is filling with nails? If you spit them out it causes damage to everything and everyone around you by creating thousands of little holes where each one has impaled. However, if you swallow those nails, all that damage still exists, just inside you. So what do you do? What do you do when you are faced with the most frustrating, condescending, makes you want to scream with everything in you DIFFICULT PERSON? I can only tell you what Jesus told me. Fair warning, you probably won’t like the answer anymore than I did.

He says:

•LOVE YOUR ENEMIES

“But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.” Luke 6: 27-31

The thing about this is, we aren’t always aware that someone is our enemy. The definition of enemy, according to the oxford English Dictionary, states that an enemy is

“a person who is actively opposed or hostile to someone or something.”

    • a hostile nation or its armed forces or citizens, especially in time of war.
      noun: the enemy
      “the enemy shot down four helicopters”
    • a thing that harms or weakens something else.
      “routine is the enemy of art”

Any one that is actively trying to harm or weaken your relationship with God IS your enemy. This doesn’t mean just people who fight you on your beliefs, this means those people who dance on and around every bit of peace you have and test your heart like it has never been tested before. These people can be strangers, coworkers, friends, and more times than not….family. LOVE THEM. Even when your face is red with anger because of something they said or did, whether it’s the first time or the hundredth time this week alone, LOVE THEM. Love them doesn’t mean feeling lovey, you are not required to run up and hug them. You are required to be kind and to actively choose over and over again to love them with your actions.

•Control Your Tongue/Do Not Retaliate

“Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speak against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge, he who is able to save and destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?” James 4:11-12

“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.” Ephesians 4:31

“But now you must put them all away; anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from you mouth.” Colossians 3:8

“Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written “Vengeance is mine, I will repay says the Lord.” Romans 12:19

I am not writing this as someone who practices this easily when faced with confrontation. That would be a lie. I can honestly say my biggest test of heart is when I am approached by someone practicing hate or unkindness in whatever manner and being able to control my tongue. I want to instantly give them a piece of my mind and put them in their place, and I am pretty sure if you are having a problem controlling your tongue, it is more than likely for the same exact reason. It is like we have a little voice in our head that instantly turns into Madea from every Tyler Perry movie ever when someone comes at us sideways, am I right? My biggest problem with controlling my tongue was I felt if I didn’t say anything it was implying they were correct and justified and my pride couldn’t stand the thought of that. How did I realize that was wrong? Because if my pride is influencing any decision, than it is probably the wrong one. However, controlling your tongue doesn’t mean you can not say anything, it means if you choose to say something you are letting them know “You are wrong in this action/choice/behavior, this is what the Bible says about this.. I choose to love you anyways because God instructed me to” in a respectable manner. Take this time as an opportunity to show how God is flowing through you by staying calm and even while your thoughts are trying to run with this anger, choose to let only kindness and facts flow from your mouth.

•FORGIVE THEM

Yikes! That maybe hit another nerve, didn’t it? If not, congrats! You have got something figured out that I haven’t quite yet. Most of us usually consider ourselves pretty forgiving people but it just takes that one person…

Neverthelesss, that doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter who that person is and what they said or whata they did, God said FORGIVE. So if we want that peace, forgiveness is the key.

“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:13

“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:14-15 (I don’t know about you but this verse particularly kicks my butt)

When I started this blog post, I had intentions to write about something else. It was something I had been working on for days and had the pictures and the verses and everything lined up ready to go and God told me no, not today. You’ll get that blog post Friday but today it is this. Difficult people exist, people who are blind to Christ, they know of him, but he may not truly be living in their heart so it is only natural for them to act like one who doesn’t have Christ in their heart. That is how it works. But sometimes, they have Christ in their heart but they let emotion take over and slip. We all have those moments. Sometimes, believe it or not, we are the difficult people. I am not entirely sure why God put it on my heart to write this, I do not know if it was to help me deal with difficult people in my personal life or to help you deal with your difficult people, if so I hope this helped!

What do you when faced with someone who makes you so mad you are just ready to spit nails? Has Christ ever tested your heart in this way? Leave a comment and let me know!

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