Thursday, May 21, 2009

Dealing with difficult people


Generally, we all like to know that we get along with everyone. But this is not always possible. For reasons known and unknown, people will dislike us in overt and hidden ways.

Some of us have a strong and intact ego to absorb difficult people and their negative ways. For others, knowing that someone is disingenuous, or malicious in their attitude toward us is too much to bear.

What do you do when you discover that someone hates you, or is actively seeking your downfall? This happens frequently in the church, at work, in the home and wherever one finds people congregating.

When David found out that people were fighting against him and seeking his destruction, he did not resort to revenge. Instead he turned to God in prayer. Psalm 35 shows us how to faithfully pray through situations where people seek our emotional and physical harm.

Essentially, he asks God to be his defender. Contend, O Lord, with those who contend with me; fight against those who fight against me! 35:1

David tried to be helpful and supportive when some of these same people were down on their luck. He thought they would return the favor when he was in trouble. Unfortunately, when these people heard that David was in trouble they rejoiced. How sad. (see 35: 13-16)

I am curious: share some of the ways you deal with difficult relational issues in your life. Read the Psalm and ponder what new clues might be gleaned. Take a moment and share for the benefit of everyone.

Father, you promised that you would give us peace that can never be taken away. Your word tells us that as much as lies within us, to live peaceably with all people. Through the power of Christ's indwelling Spirit, help us to return kindness and love in the face of hate and meanness. Amen