Summary: Be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger while showing a Holy Spirit given wisdom.

Defensive Strategies For Dealing with Difficult Superiors (James 1:19-22)

ILlustration:Formula for handling people: 1. Listen to the other person’s story. 2. Listen to the other person’s full story. 3. Listen to the other person’s full story first.

Gen. George Marshall, Bits & Pieces, April, 1991.

1. Realize that God will fight the battles for those who are obedient to His will. Do not fear or be dismayed for the Lord your God goes out to fight for you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work of the service of house of God is finished. Be strong and courageous and act. (Josh. 1:8,9) You shall meditate day and night on the book of the law. Then you will make your ways prosperous and then you will have good success. Quote lots of scripture - it is medicinal.

2. Deny allegations until they are fully proven - remember we are all innocent until proven guilty. Paul wrote, "I care very little if you judge me. I do not even judge myself, for judgment is from the Lord." (I Cor. 4:4-6)

3. F.I.G. - a). Facts - No one has all the facts in every situation -b). Impartiality - No one is completely impartial - c). God - The Lord is the only one who has the right to judge people because He is the only one who can judge motives. Jesus said, "Do not judge or you will be judged." (Matt 7:1,2)

4. Try to look at the positive side while minimizing the negative aspect in each issue. Try looking more at the part of the glass that is full rather than the portion that appears to be empty. "Wait till the sun shines Nellie." (Wall St. Song) (Phil. 4:8) Fix your thoughts on what is true, good, right, noble, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and worthy of praise."

5. Focus on the goals of your church or organization based on the Bible: 1). Evangelism 2). Planting and growing churches 3). Disciple making 4). Human need

6. Each individual has their own specific callings, gifts, experiences, personalities, ideas, and convictions which go in to making up that person’s perspectives. No one is able to see things from the individual’s point of view, which we all have a God given right to have and express. (Rom. 12:3) For by the grace everyone should think with sound judgment as God has granted grace to each one."

7. Please be patient, God is not finished with me yet. No one is perfect and we are all trying to make the most of every opportunity that God has given us with the resources that God has entrusted to us. He will evaluate our performance. (Rom. 14:12)

8. Speak calmly, slowly and with a soft tone of voice. Do not let emotions cloud one’s judgement. (Prov. 15:1)

9. Think objectively without taking things personally and do not react out of anger, fear, or vengeance.

10. Let everyone be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger, for the wrath of man does not work the righteousness of God. (James 1:19)

11. Quote lots of scripture as a means of focusing on things above rather than on things that are on the earth.

12. Stay cool, calm, and collected realizing that the Lord is the one who is leading and He will find a way when there seems to be no way. He works in ways we cannot see. He will make a way for me. He will be my guide, walking close beside my side. With love and strength for each new day. He will make a way for me! (Prov. 3 :5,6)

13. When someone starts to throw dirt they are usually digging a hole for themselves. Remember that many people criticize because they either do not understand, do not have all the facts or are not at a high enough level of maturity to full comprehend what another person is doing in a area of greater expertise or experience.

14. Give away no more information that is absolutely necessary. Give out information on a need to know basis. Be discrete and slow to speak.

15. Stonewall when you are in doubt of what to say. It is better to be silent and to appear ignorant than to open your mouth and to remove all doubt.

16. Where there are many words, transgressions are unavoidable, but he who restrains his lips is wise.

17. Be thankful for another person’s ideas and say, "I’ll work on that or that’s a good idea or OK." Then move on

18. Listen, learn, and look people in the eye and then say, "We’ll meet with our people on that and try to work something out. That vague approach appears to show a certain degree of cooperation.

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