Beware Of The 5-0: How To Deal With Difficult People 5 of 6
We’re almost done with this series on dealing with the “Not-So-Loveable-People” in our lives.
Beware of the K-A Monster! What is K-A you might be wondering…
On the highways of Texas, there is a sign and common courtesy rule of “Keep Right – Except To Pass”. So if your name is Mr/Miss Slowpoke, please stay in the right lane…but if not, just stay put and I’ll go around you. =)
I’ll be the first to confess that I have a lead foot and the propensity to “stir up” other drivers. In my early “fast & furious” days of driving, I got lots of speeding tickets and even a suspension for reckless driving. I would like to offer the excuse that I’m the product of hours and years of playing my favorite all-time video game – Mario Kart.
Back to the story…..My virtuous wife bought me a Beltronic Radar Detector to replace my cheapo Cobra. Husbands, you know your wife loves you when she blesses you with tech gadgets (and firearms too).
It’s a nice clear day. I’m a little heavy on the pedal in the left lane. In my rear view mirror, I see another car (not a police) speed up rather quickly. Mind you, I’m already driving faster than everyone else and passing them like I have a “triple red turtle shell” and “star”. (If you’ve played Mario Kart, you’re getting this.)
“K-A Alert! K-A Alert! Beep-beep-beep-beep”, goes my faithful radar detector. So my mini “Mr. T” angel on my shoulder says, “I pity the fool who don’t take heed to the ‘K-A’ Monster!”
I move to the right lane and the speedster passes me. Sure enough there is a 5-0 who tags him on the side of the road. I admit this brought me great joy to my heart!
Another time, while driving my parents Mustang (from Temecula to Oceanside), someone who probably loves Mario Kart, wants to play. I punch the gas and pass the guy with ease. However the little voice in my head told me to cease and desist, allowing the guy to pass me up which brought him great joy (for a moment)….In my rear view mirror, I see a 5-0 and I know I’m caught, but the highway patrol decides to chase after the other guy.
Today’s lesson by Harold Sala will show us the Biblical way of confronting difficult people.
Below is one of my favorite commentaries by Harold Sala whose ministry (Guidelines Asia) is located in Makati City, Philippines.
This is 5 of 6 commentaries that I’ll post on this blog that gives outstanding biblical counsel on dealing with the not so lovable people in your life…..and not so desirable circumstances in life!
RESPONDING TO DIFFICULT PEOPLE
“And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well” (Matthew 5:40).
Life is full of difficult people. They cut in front of you in traffic, put their trash on your property, accuse you of dishonesty, cut you no slack for being human, steal your newspaper, and seize upon every opportunity to do something to irritate or demean you. Some do it unconsciously; others do it deliberately and with malice. They return merchandise which is half worn out, asking for a refund because something doesn’t fit right or was defective. The list of what difficult people do to irritate you is endless.
So what do you do? A lot of merchants play “Mr. Nice!” They know they are being ripped off, that the customer has taken advantage of them, yet they go along because they want folks to come back and buy something which they will keep.
Others choose to treat difficult people with kindness. When one family bought a small farm, their next door neighbor came over and said, “Hey, when you bought this place, you also bought a lawsuit; cause your fence is on my property.” The new owner responded, “We always have good neighbors where we live and that’s what I would like here, so have the fence moved, and send me the bill.” Taken aback by the man’s cooperative attitude, the hostile neighbor eventually became a friend. Sometimes you disarm the difficult person with unexpected kindness. In other cases, your kindness is interpreted as weakness and it only leads to more difficulty.
What are your other options? You can respond to the difficult person, thinking, “Two people can play this game.” Remember the old adage, “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth?” But an “eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” leaves you both blind and toothless. Jesus knew the law, yet He said, “Do to others as you would have them do to you” (Luke 6:31). When someone mistreats you, you can plot your revenge but it is never sweet.
A far better response is to first try to understand the difficult person, pray about the situation, asking God for wisdom in knowing how to deal with it. Then confront the difficult person in your life. You can choose the time, the manner, and the place of confrontation. Jesus told us that we are to go to the difficult person and confront him or her in private.
Before you confront, think through what you intend to say. Remember, you want to solve a problem, not escalate it. (See Matthew 18:15). Your attitude can defuse the potentially explosive issue. You can begin by saying, “I have a problem which I’d like to discuss with you.” You can explain your feelings when Mr. or Miss Difficult treats you the way he or she does.
If the confrontation doesn’t eliminate your problem, you then have to back up and ask yourself how important winning this battle is to you. Don’t gunnysack your emotions and hostilities. Let them go. In short, forgive the difficult person and ask God to use you to be a catalyst for change in the life of that person. Remember, you may well be the only genuine person who has ever graciously confronted him or her.
Someone once wrote to the USDA and complained that he could not find a spray that would effectively kill the dandelions in his yard. He explained that he had sprayed them, dug them, and tried everything he had heard of and still had them. The USDA agent replied, “Dear sir, if you have tried everything you have heard about to kill them and still have them, you had better learn to love them.”
That’s true not only of dandelions but of difficult people as well.
If you’ve read to this point, you might be thinking – How did He know?
I love how God weaves or intertwines topics and teachings into my sometimes insane sporadic schedule. As disciples and children of God, our Father is the best Teacher in the universe. He knows exactly what we go through and has a solution for everything. The most difficult part is applying and appreciating what He reveals to us. The counsel may come off like critical criticism but it’s constructive and carries eternal truth and reward. He’s the Great Counselor in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:3).
Today is the 12th, so here’s Proverbs 12 to stimulate your spiritual muscles.
A chapter a day keeps the difficult person at bay.
Proverbs 12 – Amplified Bible (AMP)
1WHOEVER LOVES instruction and correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is like a brute beast, stupid and indiscriminating. 2A good man obtains favor from the Lord, but a man of wicked devices He condemns.3A man shall not be established by wickedness, but the root of the [uncompromisingly] righteous shall never be moved.4A virtuous and worthy wife [earnest and strong in character] is a crowning joy to her husband, but she who makes him ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.
5The thoughts and purposes of the [consistently] righteous are honest and reliable, but the counsels and designs of the wicked are treacherous.
6The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood, but the mouth of the upright shall deliver them and the innocent ones [thus endangered].
7The wicked are overthrown and are not, but the house of the [uncompromisingly] righteous shall stand.
8A man shall be commended according to his Wisdom [godly Wisdom, which is comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God], but he who is of a perverse heart shall be despised.
9Better is he who is lightly esteemed but works for his own support than he who assumes honor for himself and lacks bread.
10A [consistently] righteous man regards the life of his beast, but even the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.
11He who tills his land shall be satisfied with bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits is lacking in sense and is without understanding.
12The wicked desire the booty of evil men, but the root of the [uncompromisingly] righteous yields [richer fruitage].
13The wicked is [dangerously] snared by the transgression of his lips, but the [uncompromisingly] righteous shall come out of trouble.
14From the fruit of his words a man shall be satisfied with good, and the work of a man’s hands shall come back to him [as a harvest].
15The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who listens to counsel is wise.
16A fool’s wrath is quickly and openly known, but a prudent man ignores an insult.
17He who breathes out truth shows forth righteousness (uprightness and right standing with God), but a false witness utters deceit.
18There are those who speak rashly, like the piercing of a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
19Truthful lips shall be established forever, but a lying tongue is [credited] but for a moment.
20Deceit is in the hearts of those who devise evil, but for the counselors of peace there is joy.
21No [actual] evil, misfortune, or calamity shall come upon the righteous, but the wicked shall be filled with evil, misfortune, and calamity.
22Lying lips are extremely disgusting and hateful to the Lord, but they who deal faithfully are His delight.
23A prudent man is reluctant to display his knowledge, but the heart of [self-confident] fools proclaims their folly.
24The hand of the diligent will rule, but the slothful will be put to forced labor.
25Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down, but an encouraging word makes it glad.
26The [consistently] righteous man is a guide to his neighbor, but the way of the wicked causes others to go astray.
27The slothful man does not catch his game or roast it once he kills it, but the diligent man gets precious possessions.
28Life is in the way of righteousness (moral and spiritual rectitude in every area and relation), and in its pathway there is no death but immortality (perpetual, eternal life).
(Thanks Ronald for sending me the links to these Christian Hip Hop artists.)
- V.Rose – Run That Way
- The Ambassador – Because Of Your Love
- Mario Kart (Real Life Size) – Behind-the-Scenes with West Coast Customs