Have you ever been so angry that it seems like nothing can calm you down? It’s almost like no matter what anyone says, nothing can provide relief to the intense rage filling up inside of you. I had a situation happen recently that really tested me y’all…. I mean REALLY tested me. About two weeks ago at my church, my Pastor delivered a message titled ‘Dealing with Difficult People’. It was such a good message, but honestly one at the time that I hadn’t really fully experienced. I generally hate confrontation and really do just want to get along with everyone. I’ve also been fortunate and really haven’t had to deal with anyone who has persecuted me, been ugly to me, or just out right mean. So while it was a great message, I didn’t think it was something I could put to use, until recently.
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This week, I experienced a situation where someone said something derogatory and just plain out ugly about me. It was a situation where I walked in and heard it being said about me. I was shocked at first honestly. ‘Wait, what?’, I thought to myself. To me, it came out of left field. This was coming from a person who knew nothing about me, didn’t know me personally, but yet felt so freely to say such a disrespectful and ignorant thing about me. So, after the initial shock came the anger. I was angry, beyond angry y’all. From the anger, then came sadness. Eventually, that sadness turned into hurt. From there, the anger returned and remained. Typically, when something makes me mad or hurts me, I get over it fairly quickly as I hate confrontation. But, this was a different story. Y’all, I went to bed that night mad and woke up the next morning still mad. You couldn’t tell me nothing. I was reminded numerous times that I am a Christian, about turning the other cheek, and all the other stuff I’ve been taught my entire life. However, when it was time for me to show up, I responded with, “Nope, can’t do it, won’t do it, I don’t care.” I rolled my eyes so many times to those reminders, I’m surprised I can see straight today. That is how angry and stubborn I was being. “Are you kidding me right now? Pray for this girl? Forgive this girl? You must be out of your mind. She owes me an apology.“
What finally calmed me down you might ask? I decided to go back and re-listen to the message my Pastor had delivered two weeks prior about dealing with difficult people. I don’t think the timing of that message was coincidental. Listening to it again, but this time with a specific person in mind, my very own difficult person I now have to deal with, I felt the Lord speaking directly to me. Immediately, a calmness came over me. The anger was leaving finally like two huge dumbbells being lifted off of my chest. After listening to the message, I then prayed. (Honestly, this was the first time I had prayed since the situation happened, no wonder I was still in a fit of rage.) At first, I prayed for me to forgive this girl and to relieve the bitterness. And then, I attempted something that was harder than I imagined. I prayed for this girl. Prayed that God would bless her, help her have a good day, and all that she is going through. Y’all. That ain’t no joke. Praying for those who persecute you? It is so hard and so foreign in today’s world, but in the end, it really does make you feel so much better. You aren’t forgiving them, blessing them, and praying for them for their benefit necessarily, but more for your own. Because that works. I promise you it does. It is the only thing that calmed me down and finally freed me from the anger and emotion I couldn’t seem to shake.
While I was re-listening to the message my Pastor gave, one phrase kept coming to my mind. Hurting people hurt people. I had heard that before, but once again never had too much experience with it, at least not in a situation like this. I know that this girl who said what she did about me is hurting. Her remark came from a place of pain and anger, and that was her way of dealing with it. She was lashing out at others and trying to bring them pain as well. While this doesn’t excuse what she said about me, it explains a lot. It explains a lot about a lot of the things she does.
Life would be so much easier if we could easily eliminate all the difficult people, or if they could just change! Can I get an Amen? Unfortunately, that’s never going to happen. While they may never change, the way I react to them can. Instead of reacting with anger and bitterness, I can choose love and compassion. Because at the end of the day, that is how God treats me. When I take a step back and look at the unconditional love my Father gives me DAILY and how I’m continuously forgiven day after day for all that I do, it puts forgiving other people into a whole different perspective.
Dang, my bad Lord. I get it now. Forgiven people forgive.
Te perdono mi amiga.
“But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” -Luke 6:27-28
“But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” -Luke 6:35-36
To view the message from Pastor Chris from Church of the Highlands about Dealing with Difficult People, click the link below: