Learning the Jesus' Model on How to Deal With Difficult People


This is the third article in a series of articles titled 'Christian relationship help' discussing ways to help strengthen the Christian relationship by offering advice, or bringing hitherto issues that escape our attention to generally help us relate better with people we come across. This particular Christian relationship help will look at three principles the Lord Jesus used in dealing with tricky and evil-minded people.

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:

Jesus' Model on How to Deal With Difficult People

Jesus' ways to resolve difficult issues 

1). 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 angrier, a sensitive person will take your words wrongly, a lazy person won't work, an abusive person will abuse the more, and an addict will engage more in the addiction. Expect it so you aren't surprised and thrown off track.

2). 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 when he said, "Be on your guard; you will be handed over to the local councils and be flogged in the synagogues." (Matthew 10:17, NIV).

3). 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. “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you." (Matthew 5:38-42).

You may read the PREVIOUS article here: The Four Types of Emotional Manipulators In Our Relationships. The NEXT article will be published soon.

God bless!

Also read: Beware of Taking Genesis 1-3 Too Literally

Author Bio
Written by Karla Downing with editing and contributions from Ikenna Adimekwe.
Karla Downing offers relationship help as a speaker, author, licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Bible study teacher, and mentor for women and men in difficult relationships. She grew up in a dysfunctional family and found herself in a difficult marriage. Through her personal struggles and professional experience, she discovered Biblical and practical principles that she now teaches to others to change their lives and relationships.