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Jesus was kind and loving to sinners, but He showed no respect to the religious Pharisees. He called them vipers, and said they were of their father the devil. He told His deciples to leave them alone. Sometimes we just need to walk away. Pride and selfrightousness were their religion. Jesus had nothing good to say about them. They were teaching the opposite of what Jesus was teaching. We can forgive them like Jesus did on the cross, but we do not have to put up with them either. What fellowship has darkness with light?
I'm glad you asked. We see in 1st Peter 3:9 (Life Application Bible Notes), in God's Kingdom, revenge is unacceptable behavior. So is insulting a person, no matter how indirectly it is done. Rise above getting back at those who hurt you. Instead of reacting angrily to these people, pray for them; that's how we should deal with difficult people, rather that get back at them.
The way I deal with difficult people is to love as well as I can and to not allow myself or anyone else to be taken advantage of. I certainly don't do this perfectly, nor does doing this prevent all problems when dealing with others. If there is a problem between myself and another person that results in resentment, I feel obligated to follow Jesus' own formula for conflict resolution, Matthew 5:23-24, “If therefore you are offering your gift at the altar, and there remember that your brother or sister has anything against you, leave your gift there before the altar. First be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift.” I consider the inverse of this Scripture to be applicable too. If I have anything against someone that I cannot resolve with the Lord's help through forgiveness, I believe it is imperative to speak to that person in an attempt to resolve my inability to forgive. The first time I heard this passage, I recognized it as Jesus' direction for conflict resolution. I was a new Christian then, but I have never ceased holding myself and others to this standard. Following these words of Jesus has given me the blessing of forgiving others. My intention is to always forgive, no matter what the cost. Confronting others, especially "difficult" people is usually not easy. It certainly is not the world's way. My attempts at resolution of problems with other Christians often is met with incredulity that I would even bother. Many people would rather ignore difficulties than resolve them. Therefore, I approach the other person with the sole motivation of resolution for ME. I speak to them because I have not been able to forgive something that happened between us. My intent is to express my thoughts and feelings simply to be heard, not to point a finger or berate them in any way. In other words, I OWN my reactions and my feelings. In so doing, I have been able to release my emotions about the situation. This enables me to forgive regardless of the response I receive.
If this occurs in a church, one of the benefits of correctly dealing with difficult people is this, specified in God's Word, the Bible. James 3:18: "You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor."
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