Saturday, July 25, 2009
How to handle difficult people
The situation facing David in Psalm 54: 1-7 is for the most part foreign to our day to day human experiences. When was the last time someone tried to kill you or do you physical harm? I am not suggesting this could never happen, but in the normal course of our lives we are not dealing with homicidal types.
Yet we do face people who are relational black holes. These people are very unhealthy; filled with anger, picky, judgmental, lovers of gossip, and all round mean spirited. By the way, did I tell you that they are members of your church? So how do you deal with people who would never kill you, but would emotionally destroy healthy relationships.
This is where we have much in common with David.David prays to Almighty God on the assurance of his strong name, his confidence in God's power to vindicate him, and the knowledge that his prayers are heard before God. When you are dealing with people who are against you, talk to God about them Psalm 54: 1-3
You also need to go deeper in your knowledge of God. David says of the Lord, God is my helper, the one who upholds my life. Psalm 54: 4-5
Our tendency is to fixate on these people; allow them to push our buttons; spend our waking moments swinging from despair, to anger, to frustration. We spend our days stressed out by these folks. David does none of this. He knows that God is faithful and will deal with these situations. Psalm 54: 5
Instead of marinating in bitters juices, he vows to spend his energy praising God and thanking the Lord for his goodness. Try it. When you are facing difficult people and circumstances, begin praising the Lord. Thank him for his goodness. Remind yourself of his faithfulness. Dwell on the Lord; intensify your time in His word and prayer. I can assure you that the people and the problems will shrink and God will become great. When God becomes great in your life, there is greater love, patience, courage to speak the truth, and power to forgive your enemies through Christ.
Precious Lord, we praise you that you are our rock and fortress. With you indwelling us and sustaining us, we smile at the storm and we rejoice in your power to deliver us from the hand of the enemy. Even if you choose not to deliver us we know that your plans for us always turn out for our good and your glory. Amen