Christian Relationship Help:– By Karla Downing
If you are looking for Christian relationship help, you are probably dealing with difficult people and wondering how God would want you to respond to them. Jesus dealt with many difficult people. Here are three principles he put into practice:
Know the person. Jesus always knew who he was dealing with. He was able to discern the thoughts and intent of the Pharisees and other people who were trying to trick him, kill him, and undermine him. John 2:24 says, “Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all men” (NIV). When you are dealing with a difficult person, you can recognize the ways the person typically acts and expect more of the same: an angry person will get angry, a sensitive person will take your words wrong, a lazy person won’t work, an abusive person will abuse, and an addict will engage in the addiction. Expect it so you aren’t surprised and thrown off track.
Detach from hooks. Difficult people try to get you to bite their “hooks.” They want to hook you into giving into their demands and taking over their responsibilities. They use anger, blame, guilt, threats, and moods to manipulate you. You need to recognize these hooks and choose not to be pulled into the game. You do this by separating yourself emotionally and mentally (and sometimes physically) from the person’s actions. Jesus reminded us to be on guard against the schemes of men (Matthew 10:17).
Choose your response. Instead of reacting, you choose your response. Jesus was manipulated, despised, taunted, tricked, and abused, but he was always thoughtfully in control of his own reactions. He had boundaries and protected himself, until it was the appointed time for him to die and even then, he let himself be crucified. Regardless of what is done to you, you are responsible for choosing your reaction. It is your responsibility to set boundaries, say no, act respectfully, speak the truth, confront sin, refuse to enable, and love your enemies (Matthew 5:38-42).