Dealing with Difficult People

The Grinches – Dealing with Difficult People
Rev. Tony Cooke

You are probably aware of “The Grinch That Stole Christmas.” He was a mean-spirited creature who was determined to ruin Christmas and rob the joy of the people in Who-ville. Even though the Grinch was able to steal their toys and gifts, he found that the people of Who-ville had a great sense of resiliency, and were able to celebrate the holiday in spite of his activity against them.

There are Grinches that all of us have to deal with—people who will steal our joy if we let them. Some outstanding believers have shared some rich insights on how to keep a right attitude when dealing with such Grinches:

The great Bible commentator, Matthew Henry, was once robbed. The thieves took everything of value that he had. Later that evening he wrote in his diary these words, “I am thankful that during these years I have never been robbed before. Also, even though they took my money, they did not take my life. Although they took all I had, it was not much. Finally, I am grateful that it was I who was robbed, not I who robbed.”

Oswald Chambers said, “To see that my adversary gives me my rights is natural; but…from our Lord’s standpoint it does not matter if I am defrauded or not; what does matter is that I do not defraud.”

Jonathon Edwards, a leader in the Great Awakening in the early days of this country said, “Resolved: that all men should live to the glory of God. Resolved second: that whether others do or not, I will.”

The attitude these men presented in these statements is what enabled them to remain open vessels, both in receiving and transmitting God’s love and power to others. One of the most important decisions you will ever make, and one of the great keys to living a successful Christian life, is to live out of love of God on the inside of you. If we don’t develop this as a skill and a discipline, we will most likely end up merely reacting to others based on their behavior. When we do this, we are no longer in control of our actions; we are truly allowing someone else to control us.

Don’t let someone else’s problem become your problem! Don’t let their sin get you into sin! Don’t let their carnality cause you to act carnally. Don’t live your life reacting to the problems of someone else’s flesh. Live your life responding to the power of God’s love on the inside of you!