Loving Difficult People

Suppose you have a difficult person to deal with in your workplace or somewhere else and you want some ideas on how to dealt with that. Here are some suggestions:

I want to say up front that these things do NOT mean you should stay in a situation where another person is being violent or seriously abusive. Nor do I in any way suggest that reporting violent and abusive people to the relevant authorities is not needed. Nevertheless even if you are coming out of a very abusive situation these things will still help.

Start by looking at this other difficult person not as a problem but as a gift to you so you can learn how to live more fully in peace, love and forgiveness.

Instead of seeing them as the enemy, trying looking for the strengths in them that could be the foundation of a good relationship between the two of you.

Do not assume they are out to get you. Start from the belief that they are simply a hurt and damaged person themselves, acting in way that they think will protect them from further hurt because that is what the overwhelming majority of badly behaved people are. They simply do not have the skills to deal with their own hurts in an appropriate manner.

Then ask God/Jesus to impart to you the desire and power to forgive this other person, forgive everything negative they have said and done.

It might be worth making a list or collection of those negative things or and then destroying them as you pronounce forgiveness for them.

If these negative incidents are replaying in your mind, do something with it in your mind like painting with a bucket of Jesus blood or nailing it to the cross with His hands and watching it die with Him. And I would keep doing that until the past did not bother me.

I would also take every opportunity I had in further contact with that person to announce they were forgiven as soon as possible or even before they had a chance to do or say anything. You could do that in your mind, quietly out loud so no one else can’t hear it, or if it seems suitable, say it out loud to their face. That will free you from having your future determined by your past interactions with that person

Secondly I would ask Jesus to to use His resurrection power to replace those bad interactions with blessings for both myself and the other person. I like to ask Him to show me what those blessings are.

Thirdly I would meditate daily on Jesus to receive His love, peace and forgiveness. I would ask Him to show me what they look and feel like, how I should receive them today, and how He would envisage me using them to bless others today.

This is so that I can carry that peace, love and forgiveness within me and overflowing from me and release it in my workplace (or indeed wherever I am) to change the atmosphere. I might even choose to wander around my the place where I interact with the difficult person quietly saying “I release peace/love/forgiveness”, or get symbols of those things to put in their, or even donate coffee cups with those words written on them to the tea room. Whatever seems appropriate or Jesus suggests.

I can’t guarantee doing these things will stop the problem person behaving badly but I can guarantee it will release the person who chooses to practice them from constantly living in the adverse effects of the bad behaviours of others.

Jesus spent most of His ministry dealing with difficult people, troubled people and abusively religious people, yet they were not able to diminish the love, peace and forgiveness He live in and gave out. He can give the same grace to you.

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