I have really good conversations with my girl M…she is wise and we sharpen each other [I verified lol I do sharpening too!]. We also both have some tough people in our paths on a regular basis – be they kith and kin, coworkers, or random worrisome jokers. Some people are just irritating!
As we chatted back and forth via email, the Lord reminded me of something I either heard in church or read – how we treat the unlovely [in this case poorly behaving twits!] says more than how we treat those who are lovely…who can’t be nice to or patient with the lovely? The latter isn’t indicative of growth. The frequent fliers for me are the:
- Martyrs – they are always the victim – mind you they do plenty of horrendous dirt to others but they conveniently forget that in their constant moaning!
- Whiners – all problems and no solutions [also see Earnestly Entitled as they seem to be linked]
- Rude Jerks – enough said
- Earnestly Entitled – you owe them because you’ve done well – UM no
- Debbie Downer – all woes and negativity but you’re mean/evil/rude/flippant/careless/etc for not wanting the constant buzz kill
- Intermittent – people who aren’t always pesky but who either by their own crazy or current circumstances act poorly toward you…and while it isn’t often, it is periodic
Obviously if the offender is violent and unrepentant about it, abandon ship! Save yourself! :o) Get help and pray from a very safe distance.
In all other cases, the Bible has much to say – and since it is the authority of my life – I have to behave in ways that don’t come natural to me [it is far more natural to get these people told for example]:
- 1 Peter 3.9 – don’t repay evil for evil
- Romans 12
- Verse 17: don’t replay evil with evil [again] AND do all possible to be at peace with others
- Verse 21: overcome evil with good
- Luke 6.33 – even sinners are good to those who are good to them!
- The whole love for enemies passage in Luke 6 is pretty convicting – verses 27 – 36
No wiggle room – not even a teeny tiny bit. No circumstances excuse mistreating another human who is a fellow image-bearer of God. Just the fact that they are an image-bearer, regardless of how they act, entitles them to a certain amount of respect.
Why is it so hard then? Because dying to self is always hard. I want what I want when I want it…and that includes to be free of these
imbecilic twits people! So what am I to do [first would be to quit calling them imbecilic twits LOL]? Brainstorming:
- Pray for them [hard when you just want them away – physically and mentally!]
- Pray for myself
- Really remember
- If they are a Christian – they are the bride of Christ and a bro/sis in Christ
- If they aren’t – they are still an image-bearer of God [even if their behavior most resembles Satan!]
- Change the way I think about them
- Is it some pain/damage that makes them act like that
- Consider the very real fact that I don’t have that pain/damage by the grace of God
- IMO – discuss them with those who will hold accountable and give godly advice [my girl M above and J further down are my go-to girls]…but don’t gossip, nothing good can come from this…besides, crow isn’t very palatable [I’d liken it to the flavor of Robitussin – barf]
- Kindly leave [and to be real, some days given mood and other factors, this is the best choice – i.e. it is leave or clown]
- Establish very firm boundaries
- As to what you will and won’t accept from the offender
- [not fun and without prayer, humility and caution this could turn into a shouting match]
- Lead by example
- Change the subject
- Control the encounters
- Where, when, for how long, and how frequently contact happens
- [some people can’t be avoided forever…but I can control the circumstances]
- Check them the first time –
- People only do as much as they are allowed – as kindly or firmly as needed
- [some people need to be checked HARD others can take a hint]
- After all reasonable attempts, bring in a neutral third party…if that doesn’t work – perhaps counselling if it is a relationship that can’t be abandoned?
Dealing with worrisome people kindly isn’t fun but Christ commands I behave a certain way…and if I say I love Him and don’t obey – do I really love Him? Actions speak. In listening to Joyce Meyer and reading some of her books – it occurs to me that this is something I have to practice…and like a muscle, build it up through use and practice – with increasing rigor.
My other friend J is always telling me these kinds of people keep cropping up because I keep failing the test…that is worth considering and being motivated by…pass and they go away! J/K but seriously, in the least, if I learn how to deal with them, that is just one less besetting sin in my coffers so to speak.