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Summary: Christ had to deal with difficult people in His own inner circle. How did He deal with them? And how does He deal with us?

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Dealing With Idiots and Other Difficult People

Romans 12.18

"If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone."

INTRODUCTION. Do you have some difficult people in your world?

A. I’ll bet you have some difficult people in your life too. A ...

1. SHERMAN TANK for a boss who finds every oppor. to run over you.

2. SNIPER of a relative who finds every oppor. to gun you down.

3.SABOTEUR of a cowork who lays mines in your path.

B. You’ve got Sadists, Squelchers, Snitchers, Screw Ups, Stubborn Mules, Sqawkers, SuperSensitive, Stiff Necks, Showoffs and Skeptics ...

1.. We can hide from them, ignore them, scream at them, fight them or we can deal with them.

2. I’m proposing that we deal with them because Proverbs 27.17 tells us "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another." Iron on iron talks of abrasiveness, like fingernails on a blackboard.

3.. It could be that providence (ie, GOD) has put these people in our life to sharpen us.

C. After all, Christ had his difficult people to deal with. And he, our Great Example, has modeled how to use them them to perfect us.

I. For example, There was THE IDIOT. The guy who just didn’t get it.

A. Actually, to a lesser extent, all of the disciples fell into this category. After his Resurrection, when the men came running to the tomb, the Risen Christ confronted them and said (Luke 24.25 Then Jesus said to them, "You are such foolish people! You find it so hard to believe ... "

1. But one stands out THOMAS.

2. Thomas, who has earned the uncwelcomed nickname "Doubting" Thomas. He is characterized by indecision, apprehension, suspicion, misgivings, pessimism and hesitation. He’s the guy who wants proof for everything.

B. Thomas had to see it to believe it and he preferred to look at the dark side of things.

1. When Jesus’ decided to return to Bethany because Lazarus was ill, Thomas, in exasperation, knowing that to return to the vicinity of Jerusalem was dangerous, threw up his hands and said "Let us also go, that we may die with him."

2. After the Resurr., Thomas was too depressed to even join the disciples in Jerusalem. He was prob. moping somewhere. When Christ appeared, he was absent and when they told him about it, he refused to believe."So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord!" But he said them, ‘Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.’" (John 20.25)

C. Thomas was a skeptic, not to mention a wet-blanket, and the way Christ handled it was a lesson to me.

1. Personally, I just avoid nay-sayers. But Christ handled it diplomatically and gently. A week later he appeared again and invited Thomas to investigate the proof. The scars of His great sacrifice for the doubter eliciting from Thomas one of the great confessions of the Bible.

2. I have been like Thomas myself ...

II. There was another difficult person in Jesus’ inner circle, actually two. They were HOTHEADS. A pair of belligerant and ambitious brothers. SELF-SEEKING KINGDOM BUILDERS, RULE-BENDERS and PRIMA DONNAS.


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