Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Dealin’ With Difficult People Above Or Below Ya.. Man That’s Challenging!

"Therefore David said to the Gibeonites, 'What shall I do for you? And with what shall I make atonement, that you may bless the inheritance of the Lord?'" ~2 Samuel 21:3

Ever read about the Gibeonites? David had to deal with them and also with difficult Saul (v. 1). Maybe you have some difficult people in your life these days… some who are believers and some who are unbelievers.. some who are in authority over you (like say at work..), some who are under your authority and some who are neither.

Following Dave's example in dealing with difficult persons above and below would be a wise thing to do.

The Gibeonites were difficult for David, but he called for them, met with them, communicated with them ..asking good questions (vv. 2-7) and in this relating he settled things down.

Every Christian fisher and leader will have their moments with difficult people to work with too. Of course it's a totally different ballgame when the difficult person is above you in authority (See Matt. 18:16) or even peer-level.

Draining circumstances are one thing to handle—we all have those at times as well, but how do you deal with people are regularly difficult?

Maybe you are an employer? Of course we as Christians are to show all wrong and right doers God's love, grace and respect, but where in the Bible does it say that you must be a sissy or a doormat for the staff that you pay or work with? Won't find it. Will find passages that talk about you being humble and kind though.

Perhaps you are an underling in a church? Hopefully you will never have a difficult prayer-less, heartless, grace-killer pastor to deal with.. or a sicko-church.. or bullheaded religious leaders.. or yes-men board members who insists on doing things their own way… or a difficult closed-minded sin-hiding bishop.. or hurt friends who start hurting others. If you ever do, then please seek the Lord and some godly counsel. You'll need it.    

"If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone."
~Paul, Romans 12:18, niv

Jesus didn't have human pastors ranked above Him, but He did deal with a lot of difficult people (..still does). Here are four methods that Christ personally modeled throughout His life here on earth:

1. Realize you can't please everybody (Jn. 5:30). Hey, even the Father hasn't done that! One wants rain while the other demands sunshine.

2. Refuse to play their game (Matt. 22:18). Learn to say no to people with unrealistic expectations. Yup, confront and help them by "telling the truth in love."

3. Wisely protect people, but never retaliate when they do you wrong (Matt. 5:38-39). It only lowers you to their level.

4. Show respect to people even when they are disrespectful and pray for them (Matt. 5:44). It will be a plus for both of you. Let God handle them—they belong to Him.

Now, here are different types of difficult people who have been known to accost Christian fishers and even leaders…
                            Personally Type                                  Coping Strategy
The Tiger Army Tank:
likes to ride over the top of all tank-crunchies (gullible people).
Consider the specific issue;
prepare well and confront them in love about agape Love (1 Cor. 13).
The Space Cadet:
seems to spend a lot of time in another world (Tts. 2:6).
Stay grounded; give em duties that require pragmatism. Find, challenge and develop their unique giftings.
The Small Volcano,
unpredictable, explosive, lusts and goes after more power. Wants to be the church boss (1Ti 3:3/Tts 1:7/3 Jn. 1:9).
Don't fund or promote em. Promise nothin' to. Be direct. Clearly explain with right verses on self control. Warn and remove from crowd when needed. Listen/pray for.


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