Who remembers the guy with the big phone? He certainly knew how to trigger people.
I’ve been thinking all week how to sugar coat what I want to write about and, well I decided, I cant! So why try?! I’m just going to dive right in and say it…
DEALING WITH DIFFICULT PEOPLE
They are everywhere…
Even Christian, Jesus followers, Bible believers, saved, Holy rollers, church goers or whatever title you put on yourself concerning your relationship with Jesus, even We who hang with the HS are STILL gonna have encounters with people in life who push our buttons. Or, as my son asked me last week, Mum are your triggered!? Dramatic pause … The answer was yes BTW, cos I’m down with the kidz, ya know!
Even the most radically transformed, patient, understanding people, most regular church goers are still going to get triggered by someone.
Let’s face it, even in today’s ever ‘accommodating’ culture, it is still very much frowned upon to punch people, especially if you’re one of those church folk who are meant to know better. Contrary to popular belief, we are not radically transformed and immune to negative emotional reactions at conversion.
It is expected that one overflowing with joy and love and peace would never have an emotional reaction to an adverse person or situation…
Well, popular belief is wrong, because we do! Even after lots of time spent, seeking direction, learning management techniques, putting boundaries in place, eliminating certain factors from my life, there are still people that push the ugly button. On days gone by where I might have ended up in a lot more bother due to my reactions to these people, these days the consequences to my reactions are maybe not as severe but It still needs work… (heart still under construction)
Anyone that knows me, knows I love to keep it real. Im all about authenticity. I really struggle to fake it and although usually when I manage to control my mouth not to say it, my face will do the talking for me, so quite often I don’t get the opportunity to fake it. But why would I want to? Faking it will break it! Last week in my blog I said don’t fake it, fix it. And I really feel that’s a word in this season.
Because faking it or pretending to be the person the Bible says we ought to be is not going to achieve anything because God can not have a relationship with the fake me.
So we can’t punch these difficult people and screaming hatred and anger isn’t really emanating the Holy Spirit, so where does this leave us?
I recently read the book The Hiding Place, a story on the remarkable life of Corrie Ten Boom. As much as it would be so very wrong of me to say I related to her, I found myself smiling at parts in understanding, to her heart for justice and her fiery righteous anger, especially in comparison to her gentle sister, Betsy, who seemed much more at ease and unmoved by life’s harsh reality and difficult people. Betsy seemed to ooze God’s divine Grace and compassion for others while Corrie’s outward grace took some summoning up.
I found this a part I could really relate to… when I dare to glance sideward at my Christian sisters who seem to have readily available compassion, grace and tolerance for the most difficult people, and can instantly and with conviction quote, I forgive because God forgive my many sins… (this is true but it just doesn’t seem to come as quickly to me).
“Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.”
Colossians 3:13 NLT
And here is where Corrie gives me a Gold standard training for Christian living. Through many examples throughout the story it was her constant prayer. Nothing fancy or particularly well articulated about her prayers; they were simple, heartfelt cries for help.
Lord God I don’t know how, God help me learn to love, God teach me how to forgive. Every time Corrie couldn’t naturally do what the Bible “God’s word” asked of her, she prayed a very simple prayer, God I don’t know how, God will you teach me how…
I believe this is a life line for a lot of people, like myself, because pretending to love people who grind your gears is just going to cause an inner battle of bitterness that will eventually drive a wedge in your heart between you and God, and cause a divide. Or, it could cause a scene… and then you come off looking and feeling like the bad guy. The hot head, the lack of self control. Bad Christian eye roll!!
So for our theme of not faking it but fixing it... here are some tips from the wonderful Corrie, and myself, I guess.
Lord I don’t know how
Lord can you teach me how to love / forgive this person
Lord can you change my heart towards this person
Lord can you show me any way I may be at fault here.
Lord give me more patience or understanding for this person
“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?”
Matthew 7:4 NLT
Remove yourself from their company until your heart has had a little transformation, at least (not always possible in family or work situations).
If it’s a social media feed that’s causing frustration, limit it, or even better delete or unfollow or unfriend, or whatever you need to do.
Boundaries, boundaries boundaries… get them in place, KEEP them in place.
When you find yourself getting to a place of irritation or anger, rather than fueling the irritation and dwelling on the cause with anger in your heart, you could try to replace it with joy. Hang out with people who don’t wind you up, they are your people, Play some music, go for a run, play a game.
Even when irritated, you don’t need to run about and bad mouth the person in question.
DO NOT make stupid statements like they need Jesus in their life because truth is we all do, everyone needs Jesus! so thats a given. ( also run the risk of sounding someway superior and thats never a good look)
And remember … this is about you and your heart changing thats is your main concern, not them. Too many times have I prayed just change them Lord (eyeroll). Yes, that would be be awesome, thank you God. Instead, be more concerned with the condition of your heart than the condition of someone else’s. unless your perfect in which case i assume you are reading this in heaven?!
If Corrie Ten Boom can pray from inside the walls of one of the most horrendous places on earth, God help change my heart. I believe I can muster up the same prayer when some entitled princess gets in my face, you know what I mean??
When you continue to invite God into a situation to minister to some area you struggle with. It will eventually become easier to manage. It may not happen automatically or over night. It may require a little effort on your part. But you will definitely be better off with God in the struggle than him left out of your struggle.
Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”
Ephesians 4:31-32 NLT
Change them Lord, yes, but first help me, show me how, teach me, give me peace, increase my patience, give more self control. They are as loved by you as I am. Let me see them the way you do….
Over and out! Loves T x