Have you ever found yourself in a miserable negative conversation with a friend or family member which you cannot escape. Or have you been blindsided by someone you care about as they unleased cruel unfair comments or attitudes leaving you unsure how to bring peace back to the relationship? How about those situations where everything you say or do is wrong? Those are so confusing and painful. The trouble with being kind hearted is that it makes followers of Christ a target for those who need to vent their frustration. I see troubles like these as great opportunities for spiritual growth. I take a notepad with me everywhere I go to jot down the things I learn through trials. If, I find myself in the midst of a storm the first thing I do is ask God, ‘what is this here to teach me?’ Our Heavenly Father has placed a hedge of protection around our lives. If He does permit a storm to pass through it’s because the trouble holds within it the ability to refine and purify us if we choose to stand firm in our faith. Here are the steps that work for me in dealing with difficult people. I highly recommend the notepad strategy. Just removing it from your pocket when a storm first arises will serve as a reminder that God is in control. Write everything down that you learn from Him during the storm so you never have to go through it again.
1.) Pray at the first sign of trouble and bring God into the situation. Don’t try to go it alone. Ask Him to direct your words and actions. If He is silent that is your answer – you are to be silent. Don’t act unless He puts it on your heart to do so.
2.) Surrender your expectations. Don’t expect people to treat you fairly and be kind. Humans are very complex and can be unpredictable. Your hope must remain firmly rooted in God. He alone is stable 100% of the time. You can count on Him to always be loving and kind when you are doing your best.
3.) Ask yourself why you are so upset by the situation? Why the person has the power to cause you emotional pain by their actions. If God is first in your life and He is happy with you what does it matter what others think.
4.) Keep Scripture in your pocket that you know will help in such situations. The Word of God is powerful. It transforms and renews your mind.
5.) Keep God FIRST. Focus on Him not the problem and the words that are being spoken during the conflict. Remember He is in control of the person you are dealing with whether they recognize Him or not. Let them have their say and do not seek to defend yourself. The Lord will fight your battles you need only to be still. Trust Him.
6.) Say a prayer and cast your care. Even if you are still trapped in the situation you can lay it down. We turn off our emotions, worries, fears and frustration when we fix our eyes firmly on God.
7.) See in the situation an opportunity to grow. Our faith grows stronger when we stand and seek to know God’s will. See every trial as an opportunity. A chance to come up higher in your faith. No doubt you’ll look back one day and realize there was something in the trial that you needed.
8.) Remember obedience always brings blessings. Handle the situation right and something good will happen on down the road. Handle it wrong and you’ll only be left with regret. What the devil means for evil God uses for good in the lives of His children. So everything we go through can be used for our betterment if we put God first, let go of worry and trust God.
9.) Stand STRONG in your faith. God will never call you to do something that goes against His Word. Don’t compromise your beliefs to make a relationship better. In the long run this will simply cause more heartache.
10.) Be grateful for the good things. Always let them surprise you. Have no expectations. Job put it this way, ‘Naked I came from the womb and naked I shall return. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. Yet though He slay me I still praise Him’. Basically, he was saying everything is a gift from God, it is all in His hands and I have no expectations. Thy will be done. If you have that kind of attitude nothing in life will defeat you. However this is something you must strive daily to achieve.
I hope you find these helpful. I will share more in the days ahead. As ever thank you for stopping by.