People can be difficult. Grumpy. Hard to get along with. Controlling, manipulative, and even abusive. You get the picture, right?
Chances are, you’ve dealt with a difficult person in the last week or two and you’re still trying to figure out how you could have handled the situation better. It helps to know some basic truths about difficult people, and here are four:
- Difficult people are everywhere. You’ll never find a place free of them. You can change jobs, schools, neighborhoods, or spouses and you’ll still be stuck with difficult people because they’re all over the place.
- Difficult people are difficult because they’ve been through difficulty. It helps to know that people who reject people have almost always been rejected. People who are critical have endured a lot of criticism. It doesn’t fix things, but it helps us to sympathize.
- You are one of them! And so am I. It’s vital to understand that, while some people are more difficult than others, we’re all difficult to deal with on some level. Sometimes it just takes the right situation or relationship to bring out our difficult side.
- Jesus died for the difficult. The Great Physician didn’t come to heal the healthy. He came for the unrepentant and the sinful. And that’s all of us.
I’m going to share, over the next few devotionals, how to deal with difficult people, but let’s start with this big truth…
Jesus calls all of his followers to do hard things. And he also gives us the power, the resources, the examples, and the instructions we need to do those hard things. And one of the hardest things to do is make peace with difficult people.
You can do this. You can be a peacemaker! Jesus said,
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
~ Matthew 5:9 NIV
If difficult people are making you miserable, there is a pathway to blessing and to fullness of joy, but it’s not an easy pathway. It’s the pathway of peacemaking.