In this life—there are difficult people in the community, schools, and workplace. Some of us have to live with difficult people in our homes every single day. Sometimes when we’ve had enough of their behavior, we decide in our hearts that we are DONE dealing with them.
While there may need to be times of separation from difficult people, most of the time we have to continue to be around them. As believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, we have the power of the Holy Spirit to help us manage our temperament, mindset, and emotions when we are D.O.N.E.:
D – Do as much as we can to live peaceable with them.
If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. (Romans 12:18)
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We can’t change people, but God can. Sometimes we give up on people when God is still pulling for them. If we’ve professed our faith and others in our community, workplace, schools, and homes—then our actions mean something. We have to resist the urge to get involved in the gossip and slander about difficult people. There’s plenty of opportunity to move against the grade of criticism to rise above with gracious speech. We can seek God’s wisdom on how to handle these situations so that God will be glorified.
O – Open our hearts and minds to intercede for them.
Bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. (Luke 6:38)
Sometimes we get frustrated and forget that we have the power of prayer. This is what sets us apart from others—we are driven and inspired by the Holy Spirit to see people the way that God sees them. Most of the time, we have no idea of what is going in the lives of difficult people behind closed doors or what they went through in their childhood. Not that we should make excuses for their bad behavior—but we can ask the Holy Spirit for discernment and wisdom in our dealings with them. We never know what God will show us if we are willing to humble ourselves and truly see with spiritual eyes.
N – Never take your eyes off of your flesh.
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. (Romans 13:14)
If difficult people do nothing else—their words and actions can most certainly trigger our flesh to behave like we’ve never met Jesus. In addition, believers and unbelievers can pick up when we’ve stepped out of the Spirit and into the flesh. The flesh is all about what they are doing—not necessarily about what we are saying or how we are saying it. Even if we are using the right words—but holding unforgiveness in our hearts—it will be evident. Sometimes we may need times of quiet reflection, fasting, and prayer to get our hearts right to deal with difficult people.
E – Encourage yourself.
But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God. 1 Samuel 30:6
As believers in Christ Jesus, we are often in between feeling bad for when we’ve known we blew it and feeling persecuted for being a Christian. Yet, dealing with difficult people is a part of our life journey and God can use this difficulty to make us more like Jesus Christ. Can you imagine how difficult it was for Him to deal with the Pharisees when He walked the earth? He was constantly dealing with their accusations and the twisting of scriptures to fit their agendas. Yet, at times, He pulled away for times of communing in prayer.
We aren’t Jesus—and our tendencies will be most likely a carnal response if we aren’t connected closely to God in prayer and in the study of scripture. Like Jesus, we must pull away sometimes and pray for wisdom, insight, and direction on what to do. If we do this, God will be glorified and perhaps this difficult person will come to know Jesus.
Dear Lord, I pray for the wisdom and strength to deal with a difficult person in such a way that will bring You glory. In Jesus’ name, amen.
In His Service,