How To Deal With Difficult People
10 Aug 2013 Service – Dr Robi Sonderegger
How do we deal with difficult people, while being honourable to the scripture, and God?
10 Most Difficult People
#1 Mr Negative
Loves to complain about everything and criticize, pessimist. Pulls down the atmosphere around him. He thinks it is his given talent and right to point out peoples’ mistakes. Calls others fools/”donkeys”.
Balaam tries to control the donkey, which was scared of the angel of God.
28 Then the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?” 29 And Balaam said to the donkey, “Because you have abused me. I wish there were a sword in my hand, for now I would kill you!” Num 22:28-29
15 Good understanding gains favor, But the way of the unfaithful is hard.Prov 13:15 – Wise men listen to advice. God uses ‘donkeys’ to bring a word to such people in their lives!
Such people criticize others to deflect their own shortcomings, to make themselves feel secure. This is also known as insecurity.
Answer a fool according to his folly, Lest he be wise in his own eyes. Prov 26:5
What do we do? Help them change through our generosity. Offer help to them.
“Is there something that I can help with? Can I buy you a coffee?”
#2 Mrs Pleaser
Comes and pleases you, Comes with an agenda, ulterior motive. Like praise, compliments, etc. When she doesn’t get it she becomes aggressive. Not an authentic volunteer.
Eg when she doesn’t get praise or appreciation (or whatever her expectations) for her works in ministry she gives a different treatment/service the next time. But in the first place her service was voluntary. She was serving for the wrong reasons.
What do we do? Reintervention… We need to check our hearts when we serve. Are you serving for the right reasons?
As leaders, we need to find the motivation of people serving. If not, you might be in some people problem.
#3 Mr Opinionated
Always having something to comment about, insists people to follow their opinions.
28 Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; When he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive. Prov 17:28
A fool has no delight in understanding, But in expressing his own heart. Prov 18:2
21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ Mtt 7:20-23
#4 Mrs Gossip
Building themselves up while pushing others down.
When you gossip it’s a form of witchcraft. You are actively working on placing a curse on them. Stay away from gossip! Do not slander!
18 Whoever hides hatred has lying lips, And whoever spreads slander is a fool. Prob 10:18
10 When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices; And when the wicked perish, there is jubilation. 11 By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted, But it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked. 12 He who is devoid of wisdom despises his neighbor, But a man of understanding holds his peace. 13 A talebearer reveals secrets, But he who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter. 14 Where there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety. 15 He who is surety for a stranger will suffer, But one who hates being surety is secure. 16 A gracious woman retains honor, But ruthless men retain riches. 17 The merciful man does good for his own soul, But he who is cruel troubles his own flesh.18 The wicked man does deceptive work, But he who sows righteousness will have a sure reward.Prov 11:10-18
27 An ungodly man digs up evil, And it is on his lips like a burning fire. Prov 16:27
4 An evildoer gives heed to false lips; A liar listens eagerly to a spiteful tongue. Prov 17:4
Debate your case with your neighbor, And do not disclose the secret to another; 10 Lest he who hears it expose your shame, And your reputation be ruined. Prov 25:9-10
If you have a matter with your brother then take it to your brother. Not in front of others, the cg, social media, etc. Going to some other channel is a form of gossip, because you are revealing the issues of others.
You are revealing the content and attitude of your heart by gossiping.
Who can say, “I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin”? Prov 20:9
What do we do? Stay away from them! If you have been hurt by gossip, cry out to God and leave it to Him, He will take care of justice.
“As for the head of those who surround me,
Let the evil of their lips cover them;
10 Let burning coals fall upon them;
Let them be cast into the fire,
Into deep pits, that they rise not up again.
11 Let not a slanderer be established in the earth;
Let evil hunt the violent man to overthrow him.”
12 I know that the Lord will maintain
The cause of the afflicted,
And justice for the poor.
13 Surely the righteous shall give thanks to Your name;
The upright shall dwell in Your presence.
But!! God’s view of justice is different from us, so we just need to trust him and love your enemies. Love them, serve them, and pray for them.
44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you Mtt 5:44
#5 Mr Smooth and Slippery
Nice to everyone, but with an ulterior motive. Everyone likes him as well. But backstabs and does anything to achieve his motive. You won’t see it coming because he’s your friend.
Only those who are close to you can betray you….
9 Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted, Who ate my bread, Has lifted up his heel against me. Psa 41:9
Trust in God Concerning the Treachery of Friends… Psa 55…
55 Give ear to my prayer, O God, And do not hide Yourself from my supplication…. Psa 55:1
What do we do? Just pick yourself up, forgive them and move on.
#6 Mrs Drama
Constantly in crisis. It’s her norm. In fact if there is no crisis, she will feel uncomfortable and go around looking for one! Hence she depends on YOU, to find/create a crisis. Her friends are the answer to her problem. These are not events, but it is a lifestyle she has chosen to live.
She will get upset when you don’t see the situation on the same lvl as her, on the same urgency. So she brings it up to the next catastrophic level to make you see it.
The moment you say “Let me”, you just took on the responsibility of the problem solver. Don’t take on their problems but just be understanding.
7 Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered. 1 Pet 3:7
What do we do? “SWAYGDAI”. So what are you going to do about it?
Make sure that she takes on the responsibility of solving her own issue.
#7. Mr Antagonist
Also known as a Pharisee in the Bible. Tries to dazzle you with big words and intellectual arguments. Looking for a fight and argument. They are ‘superior’ and have to be right about everything. Pushes you into sensitive spots and looks at your reaction; already prepared rebuttals to your expected responses.
It doesn’t matter what you say, they will counter again. In fact they are happy that you responded so that they can argue even more.
8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. Col 2:8
What do we do? Agree with them and show love.
Find something in their argument which has truth and join them. Turn it around and fling it back. How can you argue with somebody that always agrees with you?! Speak gently with minimal words. Go the extra mile and be generous, subtly revealing the error of his ways.
That’s what love is. Loving your enemies is going out of your way and honouring them. We don’t have to be friends with them to forgive them.
A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger. Prov 15:1
#8 Mrs Offended
#9 Mr/Mrs unpredictable
When he’s nice, he’s really nice. When he’s bad he’s really bad. We have to be careful with our words, our words can be a sword to them. This is when our words in response to them may have dire consequences, like divorce. Even they are surprised by their words because are so unpredictable.
19 So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath. James 1:19
What do we do? Put predictive boundaries. If it’s toxic, walk away. Your job, relationship, etc. Stay away from them, protect yourself.
#10 You and Me!
You are part of the problem! We can end up being like the people above if we’re not careful. We probably have some elements of some of them here and there.
We have to be careful and make sure our words represent Christ when we speak. Don’t throw stones at the bride of Christ which you belong.
2 For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. James 3:2
Definition of perfect in the Bible : It’s not how you do not sin at all, or whether you have loved your neighbors, BUT the ability to bridle your tongue! How amazing is that!
Blessed are the peacemakers…
A Prayer of Repentance
51 Have mercy upon me, O God,
According to Your lovingkindness;
According to the multitude of Your tender mercies,
Blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
And cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I acknowledge my transgressions,
And my sin is always before me.
4 Against You, You only, have I sinned,
And done this evil in Your sight—
That You may be found just when You speak,[a]
And blameless when You judge.
5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
And in sin my mother conceived me.
6 Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts,
And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8 Make me hear joy and gladness,
That the bones You have broken may rejoice.
9 Hide Your face from my sins,
And blot out all my iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me away from Your presence,
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.
13 Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
And sinners shall be converted to You.
14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God,
The God of my salvation,
And my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness.
15 O Lord, open my lips,
And my mouth shall show forth Your praise.
16 For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it;
You do not delight in burnt offering.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,
A broken and a contrite heart—
These, O God, You will not despise.
18 Do good in Your good pleasure to Zion;
Build the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then You shall be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness,
With burnt offering and whole burnt offering;
Then they shall offer bulls on Your altar.