How Do We Handle Difficult People and Situations?
By Fred Pruitt
A probing question on my heart lately is how do we approach things in one another that we have a hard time with? Do we take the old approach of trying to change someone or do we leave that up to God to handle. I understand that our weaknesses are His opportunities, but what do we do when we seem to have differences that cannot be reconciled? If you have thoughts please email back when you have time.
Thanks for yours It’s a bit hard to answer a hypothetical question, especially since most “hypothetical” questions of this type have some reason for their existence. In other words, is there some particular situation that has caused you to ask this question?
Still, whether or not that is so, let me give you my little bit on what you asked.
We have all heard the phrase, “What would Jesus do?” So let’s see how Jesus said He handled things.
“For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.” John 12:49
Contrary to what we have mostly been taught, our life is not one of learning “principles” to apply to life’s situations. I was briefly frustrated at our September meeting some years ago when I overheard someone saying, “Now that we have ‘this teaching’ ….” My friend, this is NOT some new “teaching” whereby we learn new “principles” to apply to this or that situation. We have come into a living UNION with the Living God, who has made us FREE to be ourselves in any given situation. Do we really see and believe that we HAVE the mind of Christ?
Simply put, there is no hard and fast rule about how you deal with the situation you describe. YOU are the man in the situation! What does the Father say to YOU? How do YOU want to handle it?
YES, we DO see all as Christ expressing, even hidden in unbelievers outside their consciousness. All that comes to me, all I see, all I experience, all the “things” out there in the world, we see Christ in the very center, and the “Father working all things after the counsel of His own will.” (Eph 1:11). In that sense, then, and this is very important, all IS perfect as God’s outworking in expression in our world of time and space. But does that mean there is never a time to advise, reprove or even to “correct” someone? Of course not, ALL the scriptures apply. But now we see out of a new “God-only” vision.
“What would Jesus do?” Think about the Syrophenecian woman in the Gospel of Mark.
25 For a certain woman, whose young daughter had an unclean spirit, heard of him, and came and fell at his feet:
26 The woman was a Greek, a Syrophenician by nation; and she besought him that he would cast forth the devil out of her daughter.
27 But Jesus said unto her, Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it unto the dogs.
28 And she answered and said unto him, Yes, Lord: yet the dogs under the table eat of the children’s crumbs.
29 And he said unto her, For this saying go thy way; the devil is gone out of thy daughter. (Mk 7:25-29)
Can you imagine saying that? Can you imagine calling someone a “dog” and not fit to get a little help? At the very least, that is politically incorrect, not to mention insensitive, demeaning, and derogatory towards that woman and her race. Yet there it is in the Scriptures. We may wince at it and try to explain it away, but there is Jesus calling a non-Jewish woman a “dog.”
Did Jesus have some “principle” he read in a book or learned from a “teaching” that he was practicing on that woman? Did He have a manual in his robe pocket that told what to do in that sort of situation? No, he repeatedly told us “how” he operated — “I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.” (Jn 8:28b) In other words, each moment of life is a different LIVING MOMENT with the LIVING GOD. Each moment calls forth a new creation of the LIVING GOD in that moment. Jesus lived by the Father’s inner commandment in Himself, which was bound by no social convention, law, or tradition of men. In fact, because He walked in oneness with the Father, He WAS the manual in living human flesh!
He simply did what the moment called for, regardless of prior precedent. He didn’t even excuse Himself for a moment and say, “I’ll have to pray about it,” (one of our favorite escapes from an on-the-spot decision about something). He just spoke as the Spirit gave Him utterance, no religious mumbo-jumbo, no referring to a manual or even a handy copy of the Scriptures – He just blurted out what came from within to say!
“I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.” (Ps 2:7)
THIS DAY, the Lord says, He has begotten you and me as His sons. Yes, this is a direct reference to the Savior, but He IS living in US, and the LORD SAYS, THIS DAY have I begotten YOU as my son. In other words, the Father is eternally generating HIS newness of LIFE in the NOW, as YOU and as ME, fresh and new, in FREEDOM! “THIS DAY – RIGHT NOW,” the LORD is saying “Thou art my Son, THIS DAY have I begotten thee.”
That word through David in the Psalms was not something that was just said once, whether in “time” or in the Eternal, because GOD only lives in the eternal realm, i.e. no-time, where “THIS DAY” is eternal. Therefore, “THIS DAY” means that the Father is eternally and continuously begetting HIS SON in and as us. This is a continuously occurring new reality. Because of that, you and I can walk in the confidence and boldness that we are ONE with Him, that we “walk as He walks” in this world, that every moment is HIM “begetting HIMSELF” in us in “newness of life.” How else could it be “new” always? We all know 2 Cor 5:17 says that to anyone in Christ, all things are new. New means NEW! Therefore the “new” never becomes “old.” We are always “new,” something not existing the moment before, but fresh, new, and perfect every moment. New. Now.
Therefore trust yourself, brother — HE in you as yourself, because He is the ever present living Truth of Who you are.
“But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” (1 Cor 1:30)
The wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption of God resides in US for our usage in expressing Him in the world. All these things are readily available and flowing always, and we tap into the ever-flowing river by simply saying to God that this is SO, in us, simply because He has said it is. And then we just live in complete freedom as ourselves, and yet we are really He expressing, but in His Love He lets them see us, you and me, because the river flows out of us into the world, and we can trust His perfection flowing out of us in any given situation, with any person, in any moment.