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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Learning 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:
Strive for living in peace with everyone.

What this means to me:
I am to do everything possible on my part to live in peace with everyone.

Today's verse comes from Romans 12, where Paul urges me to give my live and be living sacrifice to God. I do so because of all God has done for me. I am to let my life be holy, one that he will find acceptable. This is the way that I can truly worship him. I am to avoid copying the behavior and customs of this world, and instead let God transform the way I think and act. I should never think of myself more highly than I should, rather learn to be honest in evaluation of myself, measuring myself by the faith that God has given me. I am part of the body with special gifts his has given in which I am to use to serve others. I am to not just pretend to love but really love and show honor to others. I should hate what is wrong and hold firmly to what is good. I should not become lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. I should rejoice in my confident hope always. I am to be patient in times of trouble, and to keep on praying in all things. I should be ready to help, especially when God's people are in need.  So given this, rather than trying to get even with those who wrong or oppose me, I am to bless to them. And I sam to share both good and bad times with others. I should never think of myself to highly or proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. I am to do all that we can to live in peace with everyone.

This morning I’m considering how I can develop skill in loving difficult people. Here are four things I’ve come across that Jesus modeled when he encountered difficult people:

First, realize I can’t please everyone. Even God couldn't do that! Refuse to play games (Matthew 22:18).

Secondly, learn to say no to unrealistic expectations. Confront them by “speaking the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15a NIV).

Third, never retaliate (Matthew 5:38-39). It only lowers me to their level.

Lastly to pray for them (Matthew 5:44). It will help both of us. Let God speak to them.

If I can learn to use and practice these methods, It will go a long ways toward loving the difficult people and displaying the character of Christ.