Neglected Biblical Truths
Patience with Difficult People – Part I
Scripture Reading: 2 Timothy 2:14-26
Key Verses: 2 Timothy 2:23-24
Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights. A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people.
When someone tends to argue and it often leads to severe disagreements, some people call them a “difficult person”.
A worldly person has a way of dealing with a difficult person, but Christ-followers must not find themselves responding to difficult people in the same way as unbelievers. This topic is a neglected biblical truth because we do not spend enough time learning how Jesus wants us to respond to a difficult person.
I googled “difficult person”, and found an article by personality researcher Joshua Miller. In his research, he found seven traits of a difficult person:
- dominance, or
Miller may be correct, but each of us may have unique reasons why a person in our life is difficult to deal with that has nothing to do with these seven traits. It may be that the person who is difficult for us does not give anyone else the same difficulties. As a Christ-follower, we must learn how God wants us to deal with these people we find difficult no matter what anyone else thinks.
The first part of our Key Verses gives a first step for dealing with a difficult person: do not allow a difficult person to pull you into an argument. When a difficult person tries to start an argument, simply ask the question, “Do you want my opinion?”. If the answer is “Yes”, and it likely will be since difficult people love to argue, we can follow up with “Okay, here is my opinion, but I’m not going to argue about it”.
If you study how Jesus dealt with difficult people, notice that he told His opinion but did not feel the need to convince people that He was right.
If we let ourselves feel a need to be right, an argument will be inevitable.
Father, I want my life to reflect the lifestyle of Jesus. Help me to remember that when faced with a difficult person. In Jesus’s Name I pray, amen.