Difficult People


 
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” (Galatians 5:22-23)



This man who asked my friend why I was visiting at the hospital when I wasn’t a family member came rushing past towards me and my car I had just backed in, into my friend’s driveway so we could unload the stuff I had shopped for her. I always offered before visiting so to lighten her load on her, caring alone for her aged mother and knowing how difficult it was for her to go get supplies they needed as she couldn’t leave her mother alone. From the tense moment of me not saying “Hi” verbally the last time to just motioning my hand, I knew he was baffled why I didn’t acknowledge his presence as much at that time. This time, I felt he was waiting for my reaction upon seeing him. 

“Hi ‘T”,” I finally let out from my mouth. He said "hello" back but continued walking in a fast pace up the sloping driveway. To my contentment as I was the type not great with hiding feelings or emotions. I would say things as they were, whether they would hurt or not. 

That has been my struggle. To find honest or sincere people. To feel genuine love and care from others. When they ask me questions, either they are just curious or like to compare. If not, to make me well aware that they are better than me. It’s not only from people I meet. People I used to work with. Friends. Worst of all, these individuals can also come from my own family. Or that of my husband’s.

Many times I cry out in prayers for the Lord to show me ways in dealing with such people. But also starting with my own heart. To always probe my heart and cut what doesn't belong there... There are times that even if it hurts too much, I have to cut a relationship. Not as an escape. But for my own health and sanity. I have learned that those people who knowingly or unknowingly cause pain don’t care and I am the one on the receiving end who gets wounded despite me showing genuine love and care. I always seek the Lord’s guidance for I know that whatever I do, it will only be effective if they are done with His grace. At times, I have put boundaries either by staying away from such “toxic people” and if I can't stay away from them, I just don’t give in to their manipulative ways. But what relief!!!

I always ask the Lord to help me deal with true love that comes from Him, patience and how I need His grace! 

How do you deal with difficult people?


14 comments:

  1. That's a tough one, and one I probably don't handle well. I feel like I try HARD to be a nice person, and try to be the "bigger" person in a confrontation. I do pretty good to their face, but behind their back, well, let's just say I'm probably not loving them like Jesus would love them. I'm working on that and asking God to help me love everyone as HE loves them.

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  2. Hi. I appreciate your input sister. I know it seems the easiest way to be the "bigger, bolder" type. I believe that might work sometimes for those who need to taste their own medicine. But that's my conviction if I do that... Like what you said, that wouldn't be the way the Lord would want us to act. I tried the "quiet" or periods of silence with this man but he doesn't seem to back down but instead, tries to act like he's concerned about me and that's one thing I hate when he starts doing that knowing that he isn't sincere with me in the first place. I don't give in to some of his questions because I know he wants it to lead to a topic where he can brag about himself or his life. Last night, the more he probably noticed I was just not into him so he left. (To my relief)... But that's the thing, I often find asking the Lord if I acted right. God help us. Blessings to you sister.

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  3. Hi Rosel,
    I believe we do this by learning gradually from the Holy Spirit to love others as God loves us. The changing from the old man to a new creation is a process, and I find that the more I try to act on the Word spoken to me as I grow in the Lord then the more His Words come into my mind and cause me to act upon the Word spoken to me. The carnal mind is the biggest enemy, and will try to stop us from growing in the Lord. Being in the body of Christ enables us to have the mind of Christ, and the battle is spiritual.

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  4. What you said is so true sister Brenda and I completely agree!!! Two things come to mind as I read your comment... First, "not by my might nor my power but by His..." and the second one is about Paul asking God to remove "the thorn in his flesh" which he even called "a messenger of Satan" but was given to prevent him from becoming conceited. Not only once but 3x he pleaded but God answered that His grace is sufficient for in Paul's weakness, God's power is made perfect"... I view difficult people sometimes like those "thorn in the flesh"... Despite the difficulty I face in dealing with them, I know better than to run first to God because after going through a spiritual battle in 2003, God showed me His sWord... The first verse He showed me was Ephesians 6:10. After that, Psalm 23... Years later as I worked in correctional facilities, the more I understood that even before we set our feet to go out into this world, the battle is real... Spiritual battle. It starts with our own minds. It starts with the way we make choices then the way we deal with others. I just know because of His might and power, that's the only way I can do all things. Thank you for your input sister which blesses my faith. God bless.

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  5. I love the way that God understands we are flesh and is so patient and loving. His love is indescribable.
    God bless you my sister.

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  6. I can't deal with a difficult person without His grace either. I'll ruin it and live in regret. I am always amazed how He gets me through it. Thankful for His word, especially the armor! Love and hugs, sister Rosel. You are so special to me.

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  7. Hi sister Mary! All I can say is "Amen" to your comment. Thank you for visiting. Many years had gone by and yet, here we are still praying together, visiting each other. Thanks be to God for the unity we both share, along with other bloggers, because of His love. Take care and hugs back at you ;)

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  8. It is getting harder to find ones who are sincere, who are not out for themselves. I know I pray for discernment a lot with certain people. How much of my time do I invest in those who are argumentive, or negative most of the time is my question. Usually they just want to vent about the same thing every time. Patience, patience, patience, always seeking it.

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  9. It is hard indeed sister Betty but only by God's grace we may be able to deal with any trial like that. Blessings to you and thank you.

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  10. Dear Rosel,
    What a sincere question. It is a difficult thing...dealing with difficult people.
    Toxic People, as you stated, are just that! TOXIC! And experts on relationship agree, they should be avoided. They only unleash their toxins over you and into the relationship.I too have had to walk away from toxic people. It is always a troubling decision to make, but as you say...it must be done for our own sanity and well being.

    Yes..I agree, family can be toxic.
    I'm sure you've read my account of my relationship with my mother, that I shared on my blog. That was my biggest regret. But God. He had a plan and brought eventual healing to our relationship only a few years before she died. It was a heart change on my part that brought about a change in the relationship. I asked the Lord to change my heart, to change the way I needed her to love me. He showed me that mama didn't know how to love me, because her mama didn't love her. It was a inherited curse on our relationship.It had nothing to do with our lack of love for each other. We just didn't know how to show it. To walk in it. When I stopped expecting her to love me in a certain way....and actually asked her forgiveness for my lack of understanding and the unfair high expectations I put upon her...our relationship began to change. I changed. With the Holy Spirit's help,I began to love her and accept her as she was. She mostly stayed the same. But when the expectations were lifted...she slowly began to move towards acceptance rather than rejection. Growing up, I always felt she hated me for some unknown reason. I can't explain it any other way, than the Holy Spirit intervened, and totally changed my heart towards her. He gave me a new heart of compassion for her. When we ask for compassion...He is faithful to gently press us into His likeness for a given relationship. It truly becomes a miraculous thing.

    I wasn't graced with great family relationships. Even in a pastor's family. I have to remind myself that even Jesus was not taken seriously by his siblings. Those he grew up with, and those whom he went to church with. They snarled at him when he stood and read from Isaiah. "Isn't that the carpenter's son?" At some point, it has to be enough that Jesus and I know who I am. The small circle I surround myself with, remains small for a reason. I think sincere relationships are difficult to find these days. I can only do so much superficial relating.


    I wrote too much so will make it 2 comments :)

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  11. But I agree, honest trusting two-way relationships are a priory. I say two-way because I have so much less patience for one-sided relationships. Meaning they do all the talking and I do all the listening. I'm a good listener, but the relationship is hugely lacking if they rarely enter into a two-way conversation with the one listening. In other words... if its all about them, that's not relationship. I have learned to limit my time with those kind of people. Time is a precious thing these days.

    I think we are called to be wise stewards of our time as well as our resources. We are also commanded to love our enemies. To love our
    neighbor as our self. But for me, I think I'm harsher with myself than I am with other people...even difficult ones. I spent 28 years wondering what was wrong with me that caused my mother to not love me. I even went to counseling as a young wife and mother...over this burdensome question. This is the season in which I turned it all over to the Holy Spirit, and He met me in my pain. Thankfully , the Lord allowed us to express our love for one another...before she died...again, in a miraculous moment.

    Relationships are often difficult. Understand that we didn't come equipped to excel in relationship. It is a growing process just like everything else we learn. Some are better at it than others. Personality, upbringing, experiences, trauma, etc...color our ability to relate. The one thing we can count on is His unchanging love for us. And that is what I hang my hat on! When I focus on making Him my HOME...I can more easily walk out my front door and greet my neighbor with kindness...even if they choose not to respond in like manner.

    The key is ..to know who God says you are. Otherwise the lies coming at you will disable you.

    I Love your heart, Rosel...the Lord is pleased with you.
    You are His Beloved Bride.
    He says,"Come. Come have breakfast on the beach with me today."

    hugs
    patrina

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  12. Greetings sister Patrina. I do appreciate both comments. To me, there is no long comments when a heart is disclosing from its deepest cores, sharing even experiences whether they are painful or not but most of all, pointing to the One Who makes everything possible in the "impossible"... Thank you for your heart and understanding my question and giving me an honest answer that in return, made me feel I was never alone in experiencing those hurtful moments with difficult people. I know I can learn from what you had left here. I used to do that, too. Always thinking there was something wrong with me that was why relationships seemed to not go to that "two-way" thing you mentioned. But with the past years seeking the Lord, He did show me that I was the one being hurt in the process by believing those thoughts. I did try with a particular family to make our relationship harmonious. But in the end, once I felt that it was going nowhere but instead, there were always lies behind my back, it became easier to let go of that relationship. But what freedom and a heavy burden was lifted off from my shoulders. It's not about being righteous but to me, I may appear cold now because I'm not going to please anyone if I know it wouldn't be the right thing. I say what I want to say but I think that's what hurts most people when you're just trying to give them honest thoughts about something. I know there is still a lot to learn about the Lord but to know the things of God is the only option to deal with such relationships and whatever comes our way. God bless you sister and thank you so much for blessing my faith.

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  13. Greetings, again Rosel,
    I realized after I left my comment, that it was my mamma's birthday :)
    I wanted to share the book that helped me the most at the time. That was way back in 1987 or so. I did a search and it is still available on Amazon. She is a christian so write from that perspective. It was written by Joyce Landorf and the title is "Irregular People". She describes these 'insensitive' people as 'crushing our spirits'. That's why it is so difficult to rise above.

    Just wanted to give that piece of info to you. It helped restore my spirit and eventually the relationship....because she was my mother. When a parent is the one crushing our spirits..it becomes a heavier ordeal.

    You are in my prayers, sister,
    Hugs
    patrina

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  14. I appreciate you coming back and recommending a great book. I pray that with an improved relationship even at a latter time, many of those warm mem'ries helped you celebrate the love of your mother. I can honestly say I'm at a better place now and with a humble spirit, I can share with you that I feel blessed to have loving parents who gave their unconditional love to my brothers and I as we were growing up. I miss them so much and know that I can also have great sounding advice from both of them only if they were here still. But they're in a much better place now. I just pray and always seek the Lord's guidance because I know that His ways and thoughts are higher than ours. May we all remain strong and always draw near Him. Blessings to you sister Patrina and thanks again.

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Encouragers

The Attacker (5/15/09)

The sun was just peeking from the Eastern skies. Ephesians 6:12 [37 kb]


Out in the prison’s yard, some huge Sheriff’s buses were illuminated by the soft glow coming from the lights all over from the tall lamp posts. Their engines were turned on, warming up, before the buses would take the inmates to the different courts where they would have their trials.


Orange-uniformed men were lined up in pairs, joined together with handcuffs and chained, forming a long line. They already had their breakfast and had their morning medications prior to going to courts. Some were fidgeting, as they waited to board those buses.


All of a sudden, all hell broke loose! Two men were engaged in a fight, using weapons they made secretly for a while. Deputies called for help on the radio, both for custody back-up and medical staff, as well.


When the air was cleared and the other inmates were secured, one man was down on the floor. He sustained multiple gashes but two of them were deep. One cut was vertically etched from his left ear going down to the jaw line. The other dangerous cut was horizontal on his left neck, close to the jugular vein. Pool of blood dripped all over the floor. Holding his bleeding neck, he was pointing at the other inmate few feet away, being guarded by the other deputies.


The other man being accused was not hurt. There were no lacerations nor any other signs of trauma. He was obviously very agitated as he was being questioned by those deputies, while the medical staff started treating the other man on the floor. They cleaned the wounds and controlled the bleeding. That man was sent to the nearby hospital.


When the investigation was finalized, it turned out to be that the “downed man who was accusing the other inmate” was the attacker and the other one who didn’t have injury was the one attacked. The deputies found out that it was the second attempt to attack the unhurt man. Both attacks on him failed. He was well-prepared after the first attempt on him, that when the second attempt was done, he was able to defend himseld and ended up injuring his attacker severely.


[Source: Life Application Bible]:


We also have an “accuser of the brethren.” Satan and his army of demons are the enemies of God and of everything good.


“Because God’s children are human beings – made of flesh and blood – Jesus also became flesh and blood by being born in human form. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death.” –Hebrews 2:14


Because of what Jesus had done [dying on the cross], we, who live in constant fear of death shouldn’t be afraid anymore. Jesus had freed us from that fear so we can live for Him. When we belong to God, we know that death is only the portal that leads into “eternal life”. [“Thank You Lord!].


Paul warned us, too that we also battle against the evil forces of Satan, who is a vicious fighter. But to be able to withstand their attacks, we must depend on God’s strength and use every piece of His armor. We face an army whose goal is to defeat Christ’s church. When we believe in Christ, they become our enemies. They will try any device to turn us away from the Lord.


Fear not! For God has provided His supernatural power to defeat Satan and his army, through His Holy Spirit within us. So, arm yourselves with God’s armor.


Let us be strong in the Lord's mighty power. Let's put on His whole armor to resist the enemy's attacks: put on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that we are well-prepared. We will need faith in every battle as our shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed by Satan and his army. Let us put on salvation as our helmet, not forgetting the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Let's pray at all times, on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. We must stay alert and be persistent in our prayers for all Christians everywhere. [Ephesians 6:10-18].

Friends