Have you ever experienced living with people that are hard to get along with? Those people giving you a hard time to love them or those that you’re struggling to make friends with? Now, think of the person you hated the most. What if at this moment, God told you to talk to this person, treat him/her with a cup of coffee, and ask that person the question “How can I pray for you?”. Are you going to obey God right away? Or are you going to wrestle with God, negotiate and tell God that it is hard to do?
A while ago, we had a discussion about dealing with difficult people and God showed me lots of revelations. Oftentimes, we judge other people’s flaws without seeing our own speck. Yet the bible says, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” – Matthew 7:3-5. Before we learn how to deal with difficult people, let’s deal and assess ourselves first. Let’s evaluate how good our relationships are with other people? In the workplace, school, society, church, or even with other people, how did they see us as an individual?
Dealing with difficult people is one of the most challenging task for us, Christians. If your focus is not with God, you’ll instantly fall into Satan’s trap. Satan’s strategy is to put you in a situation where your relationships are at stake. If we let ourselves be driven by our emotions, that relationship with other people will be ruined in an instant. We need to stop, assess ourselves, ask for guidance, and most importantly, pray. But we cannot do it with our own strength, we really need to ask help from God and work with the Holy Spirit who dwells in us.
Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights. A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth. Then they will come to their senses and escape from the devil’s trap. For they have been held captive by him to do whatever he wants. – 2 Timothy 2:23-26
The bible has a lot to say about dealing with difficult people. These are some of the biblical response that we should apply and practice in our daily life.
Realize that you cannot please everyone
By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me. – John 5:30
Refuse to play the game
But Jesus didn’t trust them, because he knew all about people. – John 2:24
Rise above it
But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles. They shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. – Isaiah 40:31
Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will grant you his blessing. – 1 Peter 3:9
But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! – Matthew 5:44
Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. – Ephesians 4:32