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Love One Another - How to Deal with Difficult People in Your Life, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
March 30, 2021 6:00 am

Love One Another - How to Deal with Difficult People in Your Life, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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March 30, 2021 6:00 am

Do you have a difficult person in your life - a person who makes you nuts? Do you wonder, "Is there a Godly response to this person?" If you’re faced with that person right now, join Chip as he shares how to deal with the difficult people in your life.

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Do you have a difficult person in your life person that literally makes it not. I mean the kind of person. Just make sure life. Did you ever wonder, is there a God of response to what he had to stay tuned to talk about how to deal with that difficult person today.

Welcome to this edition of living will be a with Chip Ingram strips her Bible teacher on this international discipleship program and I believe your friendship series called love one another and in this program is helping us understand what it takes to build strong, healthy relationships.

Today's topic dealing with difficult people is one of the most challenging people. Sure some extra insight. What is learned about this so we should stay with us for the pellets. Join him for his message how to deal with difficult people in your life from Ephesians chapter 4 what like to start off a little bit differently and that I like to start with the survey.

Okay here's my first question how many people here question number one have a difficult person in your life.

Yes, some people call these sandpaper people because they rub you the wrong way. There's people call these people e.g. ours Exter grace required to deal with him.

How many people in your honest heart of hearts would really like for God to relocate some of these people you know if they're your boss, they can get transferred.

I won't go any farther than that, how many of you aren't quite sure if you have a difficult person or not, unite honestly are thinking and not sure.

Let me give you was listening to a similar subject by fella named John Wartburg and he gives six characteristics of when you know you have a difficult person in your life saw me pass them on first when they call you get a sinking feeling. And you don't want to talk to them second when you're with them and after they leave.

You feel like all the energy in your whole body just get sucked right out of your drain third when you're in conversation with them, you feel artificial, awkward and uncomfortable and what you like best about the conversation is when it's over for us. You feel guilty about how you behave around you find yourself telling little white lies like I know I'm really here, but I can't tell him I'm not here, but I really can't come to the phone you find yourself seeing them and taking other core doors. You find yourself acting like you don't see them when you do and then you feel bad and guilty about how you treat us this after being with them. You eat more this happens, you just need something to eat and then sometimes after with them. You begin to bite your fingernails if it's a really bad experience you want to buy fairs and final little one as you have private imaginary conversations because they build frustration and struggle and tension and you can never get quite right.

And so you have imaginary conversations with because it never quite gets the way you wanted to be and you have these conversations where finally you say you say it really clear you get it all out. They get it. You're the hero and their sort of the goat.

But in real life. It never works out that way ever.

Now if you have at least half of those symptoms.

I would suggest you have a difficult person in your life, and although you long and I long on days for God to remove them. Here's the thesis of the morning I put on the front of your teaching and I like to suggest from Scripture. The very lips of Christ that sometimes the person we most want God to remove from our lives is the person we need the most.

Caitlin leaned back, leaned back in and I want you to digest that sometimes the person we most want God to remove from our lives is actually the very person we need the most. Not like I can hear your mind spinning single out a way to Chip, are you actually saying that God has allowed this person to come into my life. Yes, in fact I'm to go beyond that say since God is good God is sovereign God is all-knowing. I'm gonna suggest that he not only allowed this difficult person in your life, but I'm to go so far to say that in some cases. Sometimes he is actually place them there purposefully in order to do some things in you and through you. That can never happen without this difficult person now.

By the way I said sometimes there are some people that maybe God doesn't want in your life you say will why, why could God mean your thinking to get the sinking feeling.

There's a picture of someone's face in your mind for most of anything in this difficult person may make you nuts. They make you crazy. Your personalities don't match. In fact, I'm sure on the difficult person. In some people's life. Why in the world would God allow these sandpaper people to be in our lives. Let me be three reasons.

First, because how we treat difficult people, reveals the true condition of our heart. Look at that later. Second, difficult people cause us to grow in ways we couldn't honor the fact of the matter is what you would never grow in the way that God wants.

Apart from some of these people in your life and third, I think most importantly the most distinguishing mark of Jesus followers. Is there love for those they would not and could not love on their own.

I went on a long vacation, middle, last summer with my wife went to a real neat spot.

It was an awesome time and I thought I needed not only emotionally refreshing have this great anniversary time with her I want to be. I want to be spiritually refreshed. I would like you to bring a passage you know II tend to like to read big chunks and then a passage that we just really ministered me something I really need that you grab hold of me and I was reading through the book of Luke at the time I got to chapter 6, verse 27 through 36 and I read that on her vacation and I read that every day every day for about three weeks because I couldn't let it loose. There was something about that passage that I knew God wanted to speak to me was so I like to read it because it's exactly what said here. The most distinguishing characteristic historically of Jesus followers is loving people that we either would not or could not love listen to the very words of Christ, he says, but I tell you who hear me love your enemies, and do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you and pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek turned to him the other also. If someone takes your clothes do not stop them from taking your tunic, give to everyone who ask you.

And if anyone takes what belongs to you.

Do not demand it back due to others as you would have them do to you if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you. Even sinners love those who love them.

And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you. Even sinners do that and if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you.

Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full, but listen to this love your enemies, and do good to them and lend to them without expecting to get anything back then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the most high, because he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked, and then he ends with a little command be merciful, just as your father is merciful. You know, as you read through the Gospels, Jesus does this uncanny thing. He makes his people nuts as any. He loves Gentiles.

Jews are like Gentiles. He loves Samaritans Jews hated Samaritans he treats women with respect. He treats slaves. He loves lepers he reaches into the life of a Roman centurion. You know, we read that were little bit distanced. He is purposefully moving through society, tax collectors and sinners prostitutes. He just keeps doing what no one can understand. He loves the unlovable of this day and what is teaching here in Luke chapter 6 is that the most distinguishing mark of a genuine follower of Jesus is not how we love people that are easy to love. It's how we love people that are hard to love.

I mean basically what he says is you know when you're in the Mafia here in the family one another. So what drug dealers love other drug dealers. You know he sent big deal.

He says the real issue is when you love someone who's outside of your circle and you save yourself a lot of heavenly big enemies less good is here's my suggestion. You know your difficult person mean they're not even an enemy to problem persecuting you hope. But here's the deal, an enemy of someone you don't want to be around right so I think a difficult person qualifies. Here's the question we want to deal with today. How do you love people that are hard to love. How do you love your difficult person what what the Scripture say how do you treat the people that make you nuts how you treat sandpaper people treat people that you want to avoid. How does God want us in the body to respond to them and why. And let me tell you the answer that question. The little phrase in Scripture called bear with one another is found only in two places in this form.

Ephesians chapter 4 verses two and three in Colossians 313 how it is respond to these people. We are to bear with difficult people in the context Ephesians 4 verse one says I urge you therefore as a prisoner of the Lord to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you been called that. I want you to. I want you to live up to how God made you new in Christ and then he tells us how in verse two being completely humble and gentle. Be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the spirit to the bond of peace.

It's interesting when you diagram this when you diagram this out of the original text basically that the main thought is walk in a manner worthy and that of your calling and then literally it's just with humility with gentleness, with patients and those are all modifiers of how this participle, bearing with one another in love, making every effort, another participle bring about unity in relationships.

It's hard to have unity when people make you crazy is but that's what our calling is feckless too little digging. Let's find out the meaning of the word, bearing with one another. You ready the literal meaning of that phrase is to hold yourself back about that was interesting to bear with a person means to hold yourself back. That's what I have to do the difficult people in my life I have to hold myself back from what I really want to say I have to hold myself back from what I'd really like to do I have to hold myself back from those cutting remarks that in there sometimes so funny. I just want to say they just zoom right for my brain right my tongue and it would just slice them but I just know other than being cruel ungodly. It's not the right thing to do. The idea means to put up with people. It has the concept of enduring that in other people that irritate you frustrate you and makes you not want to be around this little phrase bearing up means tolerating and looking beyond the idiosyncrasies the personalities the weaknesses the mannerisms.

The differences in the styles of others that bother you that I get all in the did your difficult person get in there somewhere.

I know some of them. It's just the personality, I understand. I think I know how I'm wired up and if I get someone a lot like me.

I make them, or if I get around someone who's way way different than me. I make them more nuts and sometimes vice versa.

See, we all have difficult people in her life and is not all that is not a moral issue. Sometimes it is sometimes it is just you know water and oil just admits well what's it look like it's one thing to say okay we need indoor.

We need to put up with them. We need to look beyond those things need to be tolerant. We need to be loving but what does that look like well in both passages where this little word is used. There's these three modifiers were to bear up how with humility with gentleness and with patients. Let's take a look at what each one means. First, we need to bear with them in humility. The word literally means lowliness in the New Testament has the idea of having an accurate view of yourself is not thinking too high. Not thinking too low. In fact, she would genuine humility is not thinking of yourself at all.

Philippians 2, three and four tells us you know don't don't do anything out of the emptiness or vainglory or can see. But with humility of mind treat other people as though they were as important but goes on to say, not as important as other better than you as though they have more importance than difficult person.

I want you to have, let the picture of them come to your mind. You know why you have to deal with in humility because, down deep, you have this sense that they are inferior to you. Often difficult people lack social skills, something you know everyone has a feel in the group and everyone come knows how it flows.

Nikon is becoming a conversation like that you all man so down deep you feel like you're here and they're here right if you are really honest, she would say they have a personality defect.

If you are really, really honest, you would probably evaluate them on a sliding scale like they're just a little less intelligent than you, that a little less savvy than you probably little less spiritual than you and so you know that over time you how you start looking at difficult person.

Your superior their inferior and so what you do then is your head is always tilted you prejudgment whatever comes out of their mouth. Whatever comes mother mouth you know it's what what would you expect from them. And so we can the habit of prejudging we get in the habit of passing judgment on their opinions before they even open their mouth and so if we can appear within the first step is humility of kinda translating this into a sentence that I thought to be helpful see them and treat them as people of equal or superior value than yourself. Now think of your difficult person in your thinking, your kid know if you see them first and then treat them as people of equal or superior value. I have the shared a story about a guy it's a story about a guy named Bob, and I was a Christian, about 44 have five years and is beginning to grow is leading a campus ministry teaming up with a guy in this very they would call in a dysfunctional personnel. Karen, this background major rejection broker broken home rejected as a child. No social skills.

I mean a very difficult person. Everywhere he went he got rejected and then therefore he developed the ways of communicating acted acting towards people to make sure he kept getting rejected no one say and so he comes through town and is a believer and were doing this college ministry I'm he's got no money doesn't have anything that runs could he stay in my apartment for two weeks just to get on his feet in a moment of weakness, insanity, or led by the spirit. I said yes nine months later.

This guy still live in my house now here's the deal.

Very interesting. I mean he wasn't a difficult person. He was an impossible person. He made me nuts. This guy I came home one day and he had taken the engine of his car keys. He wanted to fix it. He had the engine of his car completely taken apart on my living room floor. Not kidding. That was not what I don't think the idea of after you eat cleaning the dishes ever made it sordid to the cranium area of his highways came in and there's a sink and all the dirty dishes and if you know me well, like things clean and and then the I had this daybed and all I asked was a Bob I bring friends in its my living room make the band.

I mean, people come it looks like a hurricane went through here, this is my place. You know I had this conversation almost every day for nine months and he like not four times and so I've always told this and I thought usually uses illustration because the I tried everything and you nonthinking can motivate this guy can help this Kyle got help me know I couldn't I use. I've uses illustration about how not to pray because he was a guy who so down on himself. He played his tapes all got a terrible personal God. You know how rough it is all gone young from a broken home will guide you on rejected Nazis a box Bob stop that is not praying. That's just whining. I've heard the same takes the last eight months. Try this. God help me change the here's an interesting thing I want you to get while I was preparing for this message.

I realized why God brought Bob my life. See, I've always told that story for over 20 years and by the way, I know Bob have good relationship with Bob but I've always share this illustration about because there's a good ending to the story and as I was preparing for this message and praying put my feet up and once I get a clear and understand what the Scripture says I put my feet up. I pray and say, God give me some pictures that will help people grasp this don't really understand this and got a gang picture came to my mind while Bob was living with me. I knew I may not.

You think I have problems now. I had major problems that with being arrogant and so I found a tiny thin little book on even know if it's still in existence by Andrew Murray called humility.

The beauty of holiness and the picture of a shell with a pearl and and I member I got so excited about this thin little book I read it.

Martha Renick marked it up. I carried with my Bible you know and I mean I read about three or four times because I realize I was wearing it self-centered controlling demanding my way was the way and so I begin to pray all God work my life guy just like just like this Perrone use the illustration and through the difficulty I want to learn to be a servant. I want to learn how to become God answered my prayer but I it's over 20 years before I realized God allowed Bob to come into my life to teach me the very things I was praying for seat wheat we sometimes think that we pray these prayers and there's gonna be this spiritual transaction Olson unit patient get general house work.

No patients come on you like that God works these things in your heart in your mind any changes you how by practicing the very thing you need to develop. I like to suggest that God may well have purposely put the difficult person in your life to help you grow. The first step, then what is you need to bear with them, not grudgingly help, but with humility, but goes on after that it's with gentleness.

We look at this word before it means power under control.

See, it's the idea of instead of using your power to control you use your power to love. That's what Jesus was. He said I make all power. He speaks it comes into existence. But instead of using his power to make people obey Jesus was so strong that he could be meek or gentle and extend love because it was secure and we tend to be harsh, if not in our words and our actions, at least in her mind up with difficult people listening to part one of chips message how to deal with difficult people, but a series love one another.

It was easy to hear truth, believe it even be moved by it, and then drift along to whatever comes next. If you've been moved today to love the people around you a little better than you have been the series love one another provides biblical direction to help you pursue that goal. Love one another will give you insight into issues like how to love difficult people how to restore someone who's fallen into sin and how to lovingly hold one another accountable it's filled with practical truths to help you deepen relationships on every level to take a look at our resource options for love one another. Check it out online at or Special offers only a for more information just give us a call at AAA 333-6003. Now here's strip with an offer. You don't want to miss before I come back and today talk about how you can put this message into practice, there's a couple thoughts.

I want to share with you and give you a resource that I think will be helpful if you think that loving people is impossible.

In fact, if there's some people in your life. They might even be in your family right now you feel like it's impossible to love them what you need to understand is your absolutely right. All these one another passages. They demand supernatural power unit of the apostle Paul would say put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving each other. Who ever has a complaint against anyone, just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you that here's what I'm gonna tell you I get that I'm supposed to do that. But in my emotions and in my head when I'm in conflict with the person whether it's in my family or in some other relationship and I can't get my way clear.

I get out a pen and I open my journal and I write out my thoughts, my struggles, even my angry feelings. What I think they did I get it out very clearly and then I offer that to God and say, God, help me see this clearly and help me know what's it look like to put on the heart of compassion, show me how to love this person, but the key thing is not to hold it inside to get it out to get clear and then trust God as you take the steps but the critical tool for me is having that journal where I can privately share things that I don't want anyone ever to read about some of these feelings and anger and resentment that I struggle with and so we've created a journal that I think will really be a tool that can help you really process life in a way that helps you love other people. Dave, could you take just a minute to describe exactly what this dream is like and that maybe help people can get it if this is a need in their life was.

You can tell we're pretty excited about our new prayer journals. It's one thing to talk about how helpful journaling can be, but we wanted to make one available that it actually encourage you and enable you to do it inside ships given you a few of his journaling tips and while there are a few scriptures" here and there. There's plenty of room for you to write out passages or prayers, or just what's on your heart. Between you and God become of the couple different colors with embossed gold or silver trimmings and the whole thing is beautifully finished and bound for a limited time, our brand-new prayer journals are discounted so we hope you'll check about today, you'll find all the app listeners will find when you tap special offers and for more information just give us a call at AAA 83336003, you know, it's one thing to talk about having the right attitude toward difficult people, but it's another thing to do. It is not I said in the message. Sometimes the person we most want God to remove from our lives is the person we need the most. It's a great theory.

It's biblical I gave your verses to back it up and intellectually. You may not with me, but living it out in real life is a killer, especially if that difficult person lives under your own roof you know I've shared. I got a son that we went through some very, very difficult times with many years ago and we were being the best Christian parents we could.

He didn't go outside of big moral boundaries, but he made my life miserable.

He knew what my hot buttons were get a rebellious attitude. There were literally times one for whatever reason, he could make it home for dinner.

I me in my heart. I'm thinking this is great.

There's peace. I am glad my son is not home for dinner. Will that produced a lot of guilt but I mean we banged heads and banged heads and I look back now and I look at this passage that I just taught bear with one another and I realize that God probably did more in my life and that 2 to 4 year period through my son Jason than any other relationship I was asking everyday all God remove it, remove it, remove it, and God showed me all kind of selfishness and sin, and control issues and meet that need to be dealt with and I learned to love that I found someone as hardheaded and strong-willed as me now. Every story doesn't have this wonderful ending when you hang in there and simply enduring God's program but I'll never forget the night as Jason worked through his issues and he later became a Christian recording artist and he recorded an album. And then on one of the albums he wrote a special song called because of your love and I never heard it before, he kinda kept it a secret and at the end of the worship service.

He was in town off the tour and he said that could play a song maybe at the very end like for offering her something. Is that your son I'm sitting on the front row and he plays the song and it talks about because of your love to my wife to me and I just said I couldn't close the service I just bawled like a baby because you see when you bear with one another.

It isn't easy, difficult people are hard but God uses him to change you. And he uses them to change them and he produces grace and fruit in both your lives, and now I look back on those years as ones. I never want to go through again but ones that I wouldn't trade for anything, don't bail out on the difficult person in your life. Love them care form realize God may want to do something in you through them deeper and better than you could ever imagine. Just before we close.

I want to say thanks to those of you who are giving regularly to the ministry of Living on the Edge you're making a huge difference helping other Christians live like Christians of your enjoying the benefits of Living on the Edge, but aren't yet on the team.

You do that today.

You can set up a recurring donation by calling us at AAA 333-6003. Tapping the donate button or visiting us online at

Thanks in advance for doing whatever the Lord leads you to do what you continues a series love one another in our next program, so be sure to join us again.

In the meantime, this is Dave Drewry saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge

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