I am grateful to have a large loving tribe that consists of 11 siblings, at least 33 nieces and nephews, and at least 10 great nieces and nephews (sorry, I’ve lost count). That’s not counting in-laws, aunts, uncles, and first cousins that all live in our vicinity. Being surrounded by this many family members is great, but it also means dealing with so many difficult people that at times, you feel entitled to an honorary doctorate degree in psychology.
Then during Sunday’s Morning Worship, Pastor Aaron talked about how to handle, in a biblical way, the Christmas Crazies who drive us insane. His sermon helped put things into perspective.
“My father used to always say ‘Hurt people hurt people,’” said Pastor Aaron. “Most people who are difficult are either wounded, fearful, are in physical or emotional pain, self-protecting, worried, or spiritually dying or dead.”
These difficult people usually fall into the following categories:
- Dishonest People – they devalue people for their own gain
- Demanding People (parents excluded, but please avoid dictatorship style parenting at home)
- Deadly People – they love to kill through emotional and spiritual complaints, argument, creating as much conflict as possible, causing pain to others. These are people who love to throw emotional damage to others, even through social media.
- Defensive People – They struggle when confronted about themselves. They don’t listen. They just get angry.
So how do you handle people who are either dishonest, demanding, deadly, or defensive? Using biblical verses, Pastor Aaron explained:
1.Realize you can’t get along with everyone.
“You live in a mental prison when you work very hard to please people,” he said. “I realized long ago that I can’t make everyone like me. Once I stopped trying to be everyone’s best friend, I started making better decisions for myself. You are responsible for your life.”
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Romans 12:8
Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe. Proverbs 29:25
2. Refuse to give into payback mentality
Do not repay evil with evil or insult on insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessings, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 1 Peter 3:9
3. Respond with Love and Concern
Even if we decide to never be in contact with someone again, because of how hurtful they once were or can continue to be, we must realize two things: 1) God loves these people; 2) God does not love you more than he loves them. He might not love their behavior, but He loves them.
“God does not intend for us to be a doormat or to be a wimp, but when you focus on something long enough – angry prayers or retaliation, for instance – you become it,” said the Pastor.
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. – 2 Timothy 1:7
“My mother always said, ‘When you live your life in the right way, in the end even your enemies will want to make peace with you,” he said.
When the Lord takes pleasure in anyone’s way, he causes their enemies to make peace with them. Proverbs 16:7
“So let’s live up to the calling God gave us and respond to difficult people the way Jesus would have,” said the Pastor at the end of the sermon, preparing us for a lovely holiday season with our families – we pray.