Dealing with difficult people (1)
We’ll always have difficult people in our lives, but the good news is that we can always have the Holy Spirit in our lives too. With the Holy Spirit, we really can ‘strive to do what is good for each other’, even when we’re facing challenging attitudes and actions. The Bible tells us to ‘be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you’ (1 Thessalonians 5:32 NIV). This is a reminder that we’re called to do what is good for the people who we find difficult, as well as those that we get on with. We all need forgiving, and as God reaches out to forgive us, we should live by His example and show that compassion to those who feel difficult to us. In our own strength that can sound impossible, but that’s why we need to rely on the Holy Spirit to change our outlook and to rein in our emotions. It really is vital to do that. Ephesians 4 also tells us what happens if we don’t let the Holy Spirit do that work. Verses 26 and 27 say ‘Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold’ (NIV). This tells us that holding a grudge against a difficult person, or allowing ourselves to stay in an angry mindset, opens the doors for all other kinds of negativity in our lives. It multiplies the hurt that we’re feeling. However, when we invite the Spirit to help us let go, and ask Him to change how we feel and act, it creates opportunities for hearts and situations to change. God can and will break through.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:31, Paul lists negativity that we need to eliminate: ‘bitterness… rage… anger… brawling… slander… malice’ (NIV). Is there any particular thing there that you could ask the Holy Spirit for help with?
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