"And the Philistine drew near and presented himself forty days, morning and evening."
-1 Samuel 17:16
Our problems and fears tend to persist and grow more when we ignore them. Israel had a giant problem--Goliath, who would mock God's people all day everyday. Sometimes we think that if we just ignore problem people, and pretend that they're not there, that they'll just go away and leave us alone. But that's not how life works. Sometimes the problem people are there for a reason. No matter how much we'd like to cover ourselves and hope for the big scary monster to go away that giant of a problem might be your Goliath who God wants you to conquer. If you are like most people you probably don't like confrontation or offending people. I mean who likes the akward silences after having a serious conversation with someone right? But I believe God will allow problems, and people you can no longer resist to remain and persist in order for you to exercise your faith and trust in him. See God doesn't call us to be bullies but neither does He call us to be cowardly. Now I'm not saying to be like Peter and try to fix things in the flesh by chopping some ears off but I am saying that we can no longer turn a blind to injustice and wrongdoing from others without being clear about what is right. Here are a few things to know about addressing problems with people;
- Always pray before engaging in conversation with them! Pray that the Lord would anoint your tongue and that he would help the person understand where you're coming from. Pray that you would be filled with the Holy Spirit so as to be gentle and kind as can be.
- Don't think too much but know what you're going to say! When we think it too much we tend to come up with too many possible scenarios that always turn out for the worst, and then we end up chickening out LOL. But do know what you definitely want to say. Many times in the past after having a serious conversation with people I walk away thinking to myself "I can't believe I forgot to say that...ugh",
- Be gentle as a dove but wise as a serpent! Many times we try to protect ourselves with a serpent-like exterior-- we keep the dove behind the serpent so we aren't vulnerable and easily hurt. But we will get hurt at times, and the point isn't for these things to be pain free but for resolution to come about. To be gentle is to be loving as Christ was loving and kind. But to be wise is to not forget that there is a problem and there is a biblical solution that can be exercised. Jesus was wise and he corrected many of His disciples (Peter repeatedly) but he also corrected the religious leaders. Correction isn't bad but it must be done in love.
- HOW HAVE YOU DEALT WITH PROBLEM PEOPLE IN THE PAST? WHAT CAN YOU DO TO NOT ALLOW PROBLEMS WITH PEOPLE ESCALATE?
- "If they persist and you resist, they will progress and you will regress." -Albert Garcia