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Date: 01.24.18
Dealing with Difficult People

I am married to a man who believes an adventurous, full life begins with three letters: Y-E-S. So he likes to live by the motto, “Say yes more than you say no.”

“Wanna ride bikes through the mud?”

“Yes!”

“How about taking a slow boat to China?”

“Yes!”

“Would you like to eat this vegetable you have never tried?”

“Yessss!”

In the Christian life, there are many things that are easy to say yes to. Yes, Lord. I receive that blessing! Yes, Lord. I’ll give you that burden. Yes, Lord. I’ll take that promotion.

But there can be more difficult yesses like, Yes, Lord. I’ll forgive. And, Yes, Lord. I’ll pray for my enemy (or that person who is driving me crazy).

A majority of what I write about on this blog comes from truths God has revealed to me through Scripture or through life’s circumstances. And today’s message is no different. If you are dealing with a difficult person or someone you would even call an adversary or an enemy, I hope the following helps you say yes to doing spiritual battle God’s way.

Yesterday morning, I read 2 Timothy 2:26 in which Paul tells Timothy to gently instruct those who oppose him, “. . .that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil. . .”

The word “devil” in this sentence reminded me things are often not as they seem because there is a spiritual realm we can’t discern, and that people can be taken captive by the devil to do his will. Immediately Ephesians 6:12 came to mind:

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:12)

Is it time to get your eyes off the one you see as your adversary and identify your real Adversary? Moving your gaze from flesh and blood to evil powers and forces you can’t see in the spiritual realm can transform you from a blamer and finger pointer aimed at the wrong target to a righteous pray-er who does battle for Christ.

When life throws us a difficult relationship, it’s easy to focus solely on the person who seems to be causing our problems. But if we want to do spiritual battle for Christ and foil the devil’s schemes to stir up trouble, isn’t the superior alternative prayer to say Y-E-S to prayer? What if we turn the tables on Satan and come against him for the benefit and freedom of the difficult person in our lives?

One of my Facebook friends said it best, “Note to self: My adversary is in need of my prayers for deliverance, [they are not in need of] my anger, bitterness, and resentment.”

“But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. . . “ (Jesus, Matthew 5:44-45)

Posted in: Faith Relationships

Comments

10 thoughts on “Dealing with Difficult People

  1. Hi Shana!

    What came to my mind was the word forgiveness. It of course is very central to Christian belief. Matthew 6:15 even goes as far as to say:

    “But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

    It has always seemed to me that this is a stipulation for salvation. If I cannot forgive, then the Father will not forgive us. If I cannot forgive than I am cold-hearted to the eternal gift of Grace. Matthew 18:32-34 points out this consequence:

    “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34 In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.”

    One of the things hate feeds on is un-forgiveness. Across centuries and generations, old battles, trespasses and cultural/religious indiscretions, have fueled prejudices, perpetuated wars and incited new and spiraling levels of violence and war.

    Yes, we are in the midst of continual spiritual battle. Prayer is an awesome way to rebuke satan. I would contend that forgiveness is another.

    Ron

  2. Thank you Shana! Thank you for being obedient to the Holy Spirit to write this about difficult relationships. This one is for me. 😊 I was encouraged and lifted up when I read your article. It came at the perfect time and with the perfect words! God is so Good! I stay in continual awe of Him!
    Thank you again Shana!
    Your sister in Christ!
    Sharon

  3. Thank you so much. I needed to read this. I have a person that is difficult in my life & I pray for them & the situation always. So this will be a lot of help for me dealing with the difficult person in my life.
    I enjoy reading your Blog. God Bless you

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  • Hi Shana!

    What came to my mind was the word forgiveness. It of course is very central to Christian belief. Matthew 6:15 even goes as far as to say:

    “But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

    It has always seemed to me that this is a stipulation for salvation. If I cannot forgive, then the Father will not forgive us. If I cannot forgive than I am cold-hearted to the eternal gift of Grace. Matthew 18:32-34 points out this consequence:

    “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34 In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.”

    One of the things hate feeds on is un-forgiveness. Across centuries and generations, old battles, trespasses and cultural/religious indiscretions, have fueled prejudices, perpetuated wars and incited new and spiraling levels of violence and war.

    Yes, we are in the midst of continual spiritual battle. Prayer is an awesome way to rebuke satan. I would contend that forgiveness is another.

    Ron

  • Thank you Shana! Thank you for being obedient to the Holy Spirit to write this about difficult relationships. This one is for me. 😊 I was encouraged and lifted up when I read your article. It came at the perfect time and with the perfect words! God is so Good! I stay in continual awe of Him!
    Thank you again Shana!
    Your sister in Christ!
    Sharon

  • Thank you so much. I needed to read this. I have a person that is difficult in my life & I pray for them & the situation always. So this will be a lot of help for me dealing with the difficult person in my life.
    I enjoy reading your Blog. God Bless you