We all deal with difficult people in life. Chances are, we may even be a difficult person to somebody.
Consider this when dealing with difficult people.
- You probably aren’t going to change this person.
- So what we are going to look at has a whole lot less to do with how to change other people and a whole lot more to do with our reaction to difficult people.
Who we are determines how we view others
Are you patient?
Are you forgiving?
Are you jealous?
Do you problems controlling anger?
Are you generous with other people’s shortcomings?
Do you talk too much and not listen enough?
Are you overly critical of others?
All these characteristics and more determine how we view others.
And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.
The flaw for us is expecting perfection from others. Expecting the impossible. While being oblivious to our own shortcomings.
What do you need to change about yourself to get along better with others?
Or, what is the log in our own eye that needs to be removed before we start worrying about the speck of dust in our neighbor’s eye?
Never use a hammer to swat a fly off someone’s head
Overaction can be a destructive sin.
Continual overreacting will lead to the death of a relationship.
We all have over-reactions we wish we could take back.
- We are created in the image of God.
- God desires and we desire restoration in our lives.
The Psalmist tells in Psalm 145:8 what God is like.
The LORD is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
- How are you merciful? Willing to let people off the hook for not being perfect?
- How are you compassionate? Do you hurt when others hurt?
- Are you slow to get angry? Are you will to try to reconcile rather than escalate?
- Are you filled with unfailing love? Sometimes love doesn’t depend on the other person – sometimes it depends on you.
Control your temper, for anger labels you a fool.
Has your temper got you into trouble recently?
Here are three ways not to overreact:
Instead of putting others in their place; we must put ourselves in their place.
Listen – Observe - Reflect
“The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing in the right place, but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.” –Lady Dorothy Nevill
A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
- We have all spoken too soon and hurt somebody.
- We have all been hurt by somebody who has spoken too soon.
What we say is important. How we say it is just as important.
A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.
Caring for people should precede confronting them
Conflict is like cancer: early detection increases the possibility of a healthy outcome.
Two things about conflict we all need to know:
- Conflict is unavoidable
- Confrontation is difficult
Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.
People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.
Never let the situation mean more than the relationship
Do we put situations ahead of our relationships?
Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house (these are the situations), it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock (this is the relationship). But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, (we don’t have a solid relationship) like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, (the situations) it will collapse with a mighty crash.
We go to a higher level when we treat others better than they treat us
A question we must ask: Do I treat others better than they treat me?
Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.
How is what Jesus tells us different than what culture tells us about giving?
Culture tells us to treat others like they deserve to be treated.
Jesus gives us a better way…treat others better than they deserve to be treated.
Keep a fair-sized cemetery in your back yard, in which to bury the faults of your friends. –Henry Ward Beecher
How are you doing at going to a higher level of burying the friends of your faults?
A successful person in life is the one who can lay a solid foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him or her.
We all will have bricks thrown at us. What are you doing with your brinks?