“Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.” (1 Thessalonians 5:15)
Jesus referred to the Holy Spirit as “the helper”. And as you submit to Him, He’ll help you handle the difficult people in your life the right way. Paul writes, “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4:30). Don’t offend, or inhibit, or block the Holy Spirit from working in your life. You say, “How would I do that?” Paul answers, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice” (v. 31). That’s a list of pretty nasty stuff! And Paul’s point is this: either you allow your responses to be ruled by that nasty list, or to be ruled by the indwelling Holy Spirit. The choice is yours.
The Bible says, “Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold” (vv. 26-27). When you retaliate in anger, you give the devil a foothold in your life — a beachhead from which he can attack you in other areas. When that happens, not only are you dealing with the hurt caused by the difficult person in your life, you’re dealing with the added hurt that comes from giving the devil a foothold.
So what should you do? The Bible says, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (v. 32). In other words, remember the love, patience, and grace God has shown to you, and extend it to others. That’s a strategy that never fails!
Heavenly Father, when I deal with difficult people help me remember that You deal with me. Help me reflect Your love and patience and grace in dealing with me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.