Dealing With Difficult People
In my eBook 28 Days to Timeliness, I mentioned that one possible reason for lateness is sometimes nervousness about seeing someone you don’t get along well with. For the sake of staying on topic in my book, I didn’t discuss the solution in depth but I’d like to discuss that a little further here.
If you’re late to gatherings because there’s someone with whom you have a conflict, your lateness is not the only thing that needs to be “fixed.” There is a deeper heart issue of relationship here.
If this person has said or done something that hurt you and you can’t let it go, or if you have a reason to believe they’re upset with you, contact that person to choose a time to get together and gently discuss the problems. This is best done face to face, but if that’s not possible then a phone conversation will suffice.
Never work through these issues on e-mail or social media, because it is difficult to read one another’s tone when words are only written, and social media makes it is very easy for others to see your personal matters.
Sometimes, regardless of your attempts to heal a relationship, things can’t be worked out. If a problem in the relationship continues, make sure that you have done whatever possible to mend it.
If the other person simply won’t cooperate, you don’t necessarily need to go out of your way to see that person, but you can still attend functions, arrive in a timely manner, choose to be kind, and refrain from gossiping, thus giving the other person nothing bad to say about you.
“In all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds… sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us” Titus 2:7-8 (NASB).
If the other person is particularly unkind, you can still choose to look for the good and to pray for him or her as Jesus said to do in Matthew 5:44: “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (NASB). Dealing with difficult people is not fun, but doing so allows us an opportunity to grow and mature.
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