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

Dealing with difficult people, part 2 - Eph. 4

The outline of my study comes from a magazine article by Dr. Richard Dobbins, which was printed in Ministries Today, March/April 2003 issue.

When it comes to dealing with difficult people, we must remember to "keep our own garden groomed" and not pick the weeds in someone else’s garden. The basis of our study is Ephesians 4 where we are all exhorted to "no longer be children" but to "speak the truth in love" and thereby give evidence that we are "growing up" !

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

The first three characters we talked about were anger based:

The Sherman Tank, Gen 4:19 Lamech boasted, "I have killed a man for wounding me, even a young man for hurting me." If we have characteristics like that we need to find a place of repentance before God, and begin learning a new way of handling conflict!

If you are attacked by a Sherman Tank personality ... don’t wilt! Listen to them, then respond with something like, "That is interesting, I have a different point of view than you, but in my opinion ...." and tell him firmly and without anger how you feel. If he interrupts you, say, "Excuse me, you interrupted me." And then continue with your explanation.

The Sniper, 2 Sam 6:20 tells of the sarcasm of Michal, the wife of King David, as she sniped at him. The Sniper can be healed by God’s forgiveness, too! If possible, confront them in private. Let them know you felt as if they were digging at you with their comments, and ask them, "Did you mean it that way?" If they attempt to dismiss your question, let them know, "I distinctly heard a dig in the tone of your voice." If they persist in sniping at you in public, at that moment ask the others who hear them, "Do all of you agree with what was just said?’ This relieves you of being further involved and allows others in the group to confront the person instead.

The Land Mine is also angry. King Saul attempted to spear David on three occasions! They want you to walk softly around them, thereby creating an atmosphere of fear and frustration. Find a time in private where you can make good eye contact and say, "I want to hear what you have to say, but not in this way." Then get the facts straight and offer some practical help, if possible.

But not all difficult people are angry, some are fearful, some are frustrated, and they don’t know how to handle their emotions!

The first one of these I want to talk about is called The Waffler. John 18:28 has the story of Pilate as he waffled on making the right decision.

John 18:28 Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas to the Praetorium, ......... 29 Pilate then went out to them and said, "What accusation do you bring against this Man?" 30 They answered and said to him, "If He were not an evildoer, we would not have delivered Him up to you." 31 Then Pilate said to them, "You take Him and judge Him according to your law." Therefore the Jews said to him, "It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death," ........ 33 Then Pilate entered the Praetorium again, called Jesus, and said to Him, "Are You the King of the Jews?" 34 Jesus answered him, "Are you speaking for yourself about this, or did others tell you this about Me?" 35 Pilate answered, "Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered You to me. What have You done?" 36 Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. ......... " 37 Pilate therefore said to Him, "Are You a king then?" Jesus answered, "You say rightly that I am a king. ....... Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice." 38 Pilate said to Him, "What is truth?" And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, "I find no fault in Him at all. 39 But you have a custom that I should release someone to you at the Passover. Do you therefore want me to release to you the King of the Jews?" 40 Then they all cried again, saying, "Not this Man, but Barabbas!" Now Barabbas was a robber. NKJV

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