Summary: Dealing with Difficult people use scriptureFrom the time we were babies, we all have found ways in which to "get our way". Some are legitimate means of obtaining your objectives ... others are means whereby we manipulate people. These means of manipulatio



From the time we were babies, we all have found ways in which to "get our way". Some are legitimate means of obtaining your objectives ... others are means whereby we manipulate people. These means of manipulation are usually an irritant to those who experience them ... and we can become an irritating person! We are all called to overcome these irritating habits of ours! We are to be less and less like our forefathers in the flesh, and more and more like Jesus! The Bible holds up a high calling for us to follow ....

Eph 4:14-16 .... we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head--Christ-- 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. NKJV

Speaking the truth in love is the most mature way to communicate with one another. That may at times require us to confront things with which we disagree ... but we are to be fair and loving as we do it! THERE IS NO ROOM FOR ANGER which produces harshness nor explosions! You cannot win your brother or sister by being irritable towards the person who irritates you!

The reason you cannot deal with them in anger is because most people who are difficult are already angry! Your anger will put you into their arena! They aren’t necessarily angry with you ... they may be angry at their place in life ... angry at God ... angry at something which happened years and year gone by ... but they are angry! And they seem to be willing to take it out on anyone who gets in their path! The first one we will look at is ......


The Sherman Tank

Gen 4:19 Then Lamech took for himself two wives: the name of one was Adah, and the name of the second was Zillah. (A brief description of their children.) 23 Then Lamech said to his wives:

"Adah and Zillah, hear my voice; Wives of Lamech, listen to my speech! For I have killed a man for wounding me, Even a young man for hurting me. 24 If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, Then Lamech seventy-sevenfold." NKJV

There is no background on Lamech, but he apparently had a chip on his shoulder. A Sherman Tank personality attempts to get his or her way by being intimidating and openly aggressive. They are usually bold and blunt and they are always ready to make you pay dearly for getting into their line of fire! Lamech didn’t just hurt someone for hurting him ... he killed him! Was the offense an accident? We don’t know ... but Lamech’s response was deadly! His idea of life is to "pay-back" and he will strike back seventy-seven times to your one offense! He is angry!

Yes, we Christians may still have characteristics like these ... and they need to be brought to the cross of Jesus Christ. Letting God heal the hurt which caused the anger, and then "painting" a new picture of how to respond in life may take some time ... but the reward of being close to God and having loving, trusting relationships is worth the effort!

But we all need to know how to respond to the person who hasn’t stopped being a Sherman Tank! What do we do until he runs out of fuel? First of all ... don’t wilt when they blast you! Listen to them in a friendly manner and let them have their say. When they are through ... respond with something like, "That is interesting, I have a different point of view than what you have just said, but I’m


willing to hear more about the way you see it." And then be ready to listen!

When he has finished presenting his opinion, simply respond by saying, "Well, in my opinion .... and tell him firmly and without anger how you feel. If he interrupts you, simply say, "I’m sorry, but you interrupted me." And continue with your statement. Will that change him? Probably not, but he will know that you are willing to listen ... and he will know where you stand. He will also know that he was not able to run over you, make you wilt in fear, and become intimidated by his method of manipulation. Winning his respect by be the first step in seeing God heal his heart!

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