I have been dealing with difficult people it seems a lot lately. It is the current challenge from God to develop more resourceful responses. I am grateful for this opportunity to do so “full of grace and seasoned with salt.” So far I have found some new courage to address difficult people. One is non-communicative, another is brusque and arrogant and a third, actually have very strong personalities.
Recently Joyce Meyers was teaching on courage and difficult people. She directed her teaching to 2 Timothy for wisdom. “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (fear), but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline (a sound mind) (2 Timothy 1:7 NIV,NKJV). Paul is passing the baton to Timothy a younger disciple. He has fought the good fight and finished the race he tells us. He starts in 1 Timothy 2:2 telling us to pray for all men, particularly leaders so that they may live quiet and peaceable lives in all godliness and reverence. He tells us in 4:4 to give thanks for all for it is from God and sanctified by the Word and prayer.
He tells us that we must “endure hardships” for the gospel in 1 Timothy 1. As Paul leaves his first letter to Timothy and us in extension, he tells us to pursue righteousness, godliness, faith and love with endurance and gentleness. We are to fight the good fight. In the 2nd letter he says, “A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will” (2 Timothy 2:24-25). These are very hard teachings as he is telling us to pursue dealing with difficult people with a spirit that comes from God, man can’t do this alone in my opinion. This requires “standing firm” without quarreling something I have trouble doing. One thing that I have found that helps is putting aside the past forgiving and forgetting previous encounters when talking with difficult people. Don’t let these shadows take the light of God from you.
Perhaps you will learn something about God in the process. He wants us to persevere in and through all hardships and difficult relationships. I have found that many are afraid and feel that if they don’t act overbearing that they will be walked on or trampled. What a sad way to live. I have one relative who says that her mother was just a throw rug and therefore she will not be. It is sad because she will miss the peace of the presence of God and still small voice of guidance and love. Being in authority requires humility and quietness, not bravado and not control or domination. Listening is a great gift. Gentleness is a fruit of the Spirit. It takes courage to use it in love.