Dealing with difficult people (3)
We read about Jesus showing His anger in difficult situations yesterday; however, we have to remember that He also dealt with a lot of testing people with patience and calm. In Matthew 27 we see Jesus talking to officials who have the power to torture and kill Him, and He still reacts in a Spirit-filled way. Mostly, He keeps quiet. When He does speak, He says only what is necessary to answer, with no need to try to hurt them or prove His own very real righteousness. He could have defended Himself, shouted everyone down, and proven His Godliness. But being in tune with His Father’s plans, He remained calm and dealt with the situation with dignity. About all of this, Peter writes: ‘If you suffer for doing good and endure it patiently, God is pleased with you. For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps… He did not retaliate when he was insulted, nor threaten revenge when he suffered. He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly’ (1 Peter 2:20-23 NLT). What more could we want than to know that God is pleased with us, and that we’re following in Jesus’ steps. We can consider difficult people as an opportunity to bring more of God’s light into this world. Consider that people who are hurting in their own hearts are often the ones to lash out and hurt others. Our responses to difficult people could be a chance to share God’s grace and patience with someone who, deep down, desperately needs Him.
Try to think who last made you feel angry, upset, or inconvenienced. Find a way to do something kind for them today, or just send them a friendly message to check in. Ask God to guide your interaction with them.
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