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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Learning How To Love Difficult People

In review of Romans 12:18 it says, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”

Bottom Line:
Do everything possible to live in peace with everyone.

What this means to me:
I am to do everything possible to do my part to live at peace with everyone. One of the most important skills I can develop as I walk with Christ is to learn how to love difficult people. Jesus modeled four methods I can follow for when I encounter difficult people:

First, realize that I can't please everyone. Even God can't do that! So, refuse to play those games “But Jesus knew their evil motives. “You hypocrites!” he said. “Why are you trying to trap me?” (Matthew 22:18).

Secondly, learn to say no to unrealistic expectations. Confront them by “speaking the truth in love.” Ephesians 4:15 says, “Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.” (NLT) When it comes to unrealistic expectations, it is probably best to get to the root of what someone is wanting and then make it clearly understood that what they desire may not be possible in the way manner they’d like to see it. In response, I could always offer a more realistic alternative.

Thirdly, NEVER retaliate. “You have heard the law that says the punishment must match the injury: ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also.” (Matthew 5:38-39 NLT). Retaliating will only lower me to their level.

Lastly, pray for them. Matthew 5:44 say, “But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!” (NLT). This is the opposite of what we would normally think. I can pray that things will go well for them or that God will reveal himself to them (let God speak to them.) Overall, prayer will help them and help adjust my attitude and feelings.

Overall, my significance and worth comes from God. So I should focus my attention and energy on the things that are on his heart. He will bring peace to what I do, as I follow his direction and instructions.