The Framework
Author: Kylie Welch

Chapter 5
Framework Issue 2 - Dealing with negative people

Ok, I have to be honest; I have decided to cover this topic because I am clashing with someone.   It sucks.  I have been working at this place for many years and have enjoyed it.  The people at this place have been amazing, loving, caring and kind and because of that I have grown so much.  Cue the person I am clashing with.  All of a sudden I am nervous when they are in the room.  I am even nervous when I receive emails from them.  I can’t stand to be around them, I have a physical reaction.  I don’t understand it and definitely do not enjoy it.  How can something so good turn into something so bad so quickly, because of one person?  No one else seems to be clashing with them.  Mind you, it’s not as though I can go around and ask people whether they are having the same issue as me, but they do seem to be enjoying the new person in the role they are in.  I would like to delve deeply into this because I think it is dangerous.  I cannot work in the joy and freedom of the Holy Spirit around them.  And working in the joy and freedom of the Holy Spirit is more important to me.  God usually gives me favour with people so that I can live at peace with them (Romans 12:18) but with this person I feel agitated and drained.  I have only ever come across this twice before and at those times I was reacting to these different character traits.

 

1.      Control & Manipulation

 

These two traits make me feel nervous.  With these traits, there seems to be a need to control everything that is going on.  I guess you could call it mega micro-managing.  They stand on peoples toes and cause those in existing roles to feel inadequate.  They will never let you be right, are arrogant and self-serving but this is veiled in humbleness.  They are very sharp and will make you feel like you are the one who is not doing the job properly.  I don’t like being around these people, unless the Lord has directed me to pray for them.

 

2.      Jezebel

 

Jezebel in the bible was an extremely manipulative person covered in sickly sweetness - until she doesn’t get her own way.  She can be extremely dangerous.  It would pay to do a bible study or search on the internet if you have not encountered this spiritual force.  She is dangerous and invokes fear at a glance.  She can make you feel pathetic with one word (such as, are you putting on weight, that top looks tight on you today) and she will make you doubt your every move.  She comes across as very helpful but it is just so you will feel indebted to her. 

 

3.      Inadequacy

 

Some people just make me feel inadequate by their words and actions.  Sometimes, it comes with a healthy word of constructive criticism which is a good thing but sometimes a person will say something that has the potential to be very damaging.  If someone were to say “I can see you are doing your best in this, but have you considered doing it this way”, I would feel fine but if someone came up to me and said, “You are not doing a good job at this.  It’s not exactly your strong point is it?” this is hurtful.  It can make me feel inadequate.  Once, a good friend of mine sat me down and told me that I wasn’t doing a good job at something (although I was, she didn’t have all of the information) and it hurt for six weeks!  I was obsessed with that comment.  I couldn’t believe she had said it and must admit it hurt a lot because I knew I was doing a good job.  I had to pray and seek God for healing over that small comment.  I am not sure that person knew the affect the comment had on me, I think that would have been sad for her to know it had made me sad for such a long time, but it does highlight how quickly someone can cause damage and make a person feel inadequate.

 

4.      Different personality types

 

We have a lovely lady where I work but I think I freak her out with my bubbly nature.  We are total opposites.  She is quiet and reserved and I am not.  She is an extremely creative and talented person but just has an introverted nature whereas my nature is extraverted.  Some people are just different in personality from us.  And that is ok.  If God made us all the same, we would all get a bit bored.  Let’s see what the bible says about how to deal with people God’s way.

 

 

 

 

The Biblical Approach

 

1.      Familiarity

 

In biblical times, there was a young shepherd boy called David.  There was a bully in town called Goliath.  David didn’t like this huge bully and he had enough faith to believe he could fight him.  David had confidence that he could win a battle with him but his brother Eliab said to David “I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle” (1 Samuel 17v18).  Can you imagine how annoying that must have been to David?  It is often family or close friends who can tear your confidence to pieces with their words.  They can hold us back from our destiny with a negative belief they may have about us.  Don’t let them, don’t listen!  Ignore these critics because they may not be looking at the situation with eyes of faith.

 

2.     Fight or flight?

 

As mentioned in the previous chapter.  Within relationships, soul-ties are created.  These can be created in friendships too.  Is there a friend in your life who is causing you more harm than good?  Most people have a friend or two that do them no good.  They are energy suckers, time wasters and negative.  If you have a friend like this it is a good idea to ask yourself whether it is time to fight for that friendship and approach the issues with them of let that friendship go.  If you do think it is time to flee you are in good company.  In the bible David was being chased by the king.  The king didn’t like him at all.  Imagine being chased by a king.  A king has a lot of people at hand to help him chase you.  David ran a lot.  He chose to flee.  In 1 Samuel 24:12-13 it says “and may the Lord avenge the wrongs you have done to me, but my hand will not touch you.  As the old saying goes, ‘from evildoers come evil deeds, so my hand will not touch you’.”  Even though David knew that the king was out to harm him, he decided it was better to just get as far away from the king instead of staying close.  David knew that there could be an opportunity to harm the king if he got closer and David didn’t want to hurt him.  He had too much respect for God to cause harm to another human being – whether it be emotional or physical.  So he chose to keep his distance from this person.  Good advice when it comes to being with a toxic friend.

 

3.     Angry much?

 

My daughter has a saying when she sees someone who has lost their temper.  She says “gees, angry much!”  Jesus knows a lot about anger.  He had a whole town angry at him, in fact they tried to kill him and how did He deal with it?  In Luke 4:28-30 it reads, “all the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this.  They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him down the cliff.  But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way”.  What did Jesus do?  He calmly walked away.  This is what we should do when we are involved with angry people or situations.  Take His example.  Walk away.

 

4.     Fruit anyone?

 

The best way to deal with any person is to react in a godly way.  By using the fruit of the Holy Spirit you can counteract any reaction.  Galatians 5:22-23 reads, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  Against such things there is no law”.  I find that patience and kindness are the nicest ways to react with people.  Not always the easiest but definitely the nicest.  It is good to use these to counteract any kind of highly charged interaction.  The ungodly fruits are the exact opposites.  These are hatred, depression, agitation, impatience, mean-spiritedness, anger, and unfaithfulness, being rough in word or deed, and being impetuous.  These are things that stir up negative emotions.  If you have a friend who often shows these characteristics, you may want to study how David in the bible reacted to King Saul in 1 Samuel.

 

5.      Forgiveness

 

It may sound hard to do but forgiveness wins every time.  The reason we are instructed to forgive is because unforgiveness harms us more than the person we are upset with.  There are many scriptures on forgiveness.  Psalm 51:10-12 asks God to create a clean heart in us and to renew a right spirit within us.  Proverbs 17:9 reads “He who covers and forgives an offense seeks love.”

 

6.      Love

 

And finally, 1 Corinthians 13 sums it up beautifully, “If I speak in tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains but have not love, I am nothing.  If I give all I possess to the poor, and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love”.

That pretty much sums it up. 


 

Biblical Case Studies

 

1.      Cain and Abel – Anger and Jealousy

 

Cain and Abel were the first two sons of Adam and Eve.  Cain was a crop farmer and his younger brother Abel was a shepherd.   Cain was so jealous of his brother after offering an acceptable offering to God that Cain actually killed Abel.    This is the extreme scale of conflict with people and should never be attempted by anyone, ever, but it does highlight the damage that anger and jealousy can have on a person (see Genesis 1).

 

2.      King Saul and David – Inadequacy

 

King Saul was troubled by the fact that when brought to Samuel, David was anointed by him in front of his brothers to be the next king.  At first Saul was soothed by David’s presence with his expert harp skills but Saul soon became so full of a jealous and inadequacy that it could have got them both killed.  It was only by the grace of God that neither of them were killed in this relationship but David had a deep fear of the Lord and used the fruit of the spirit to conquer this troublesome experience (see 1 Samuel 18).  It can be done.

 

3.      Jezebel and Elijah - Anger

 

I mentioned Jezebel in an earlier part of this chapter.  Looking in 1 Kings 18:1-39, it is easy to see that Elijah was having a good day.  God had shown up and there was a real victory involved but Elijah made Jezebel look bad and this made her very angry.  After his victory he must have been feeling great.  I am sure you have had a time in your life that you were felling very happy with yourself and then someone comes along and takes your joy away with a throw-away negative comment.  Well, Jezebel did just that.  Actually, she wanted him dead and promised to kill him.  This made Elijah run to the hills to hide.  It wasn’t until he had reassurance from the Lord himself that things were going to be ok that he calmed down enough to function.  I have been in situations with people and sometimes it takes a while to calm down.  I am sure you have too but be assured that as you seek the Lord, He will rectify the situation like He did for Elijah.

 

 

The Framework

 

Difficult people are going to enter our lives periodically but from what we have just learnt, there are Godly ways to deal with them.  Let’s have a look at our new framework for dealing with difficult people.

 

1.      Don’t listen to negative comments from family and friends.  Hold closely to the plan and vision the Lord has given to you for your life

2.      Keep away from energy suckers, time wasters and negative people

3.      Do not fight fire with fire.  If you need to leave a situation for it to calm down, do so

4.      It’s ok to calmly walk away from angry people, Jesus did

5.      The fruit of the spirit is the best way to treat difficult people.  React in love, patience, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, with faithfulness, gentleness and self-control

6.      Forgiveness is very powerful.  Forgive, always and quickly

7.      Love will win in the end.  Always love.  Do not envy, boast or be full of pride.  Do not be rude, self-seeking or easily angered.  Keep no record of wrongs and do not delight in evil but rejoice in the truth.  Always protect, trust and hope.  Always persevere.  Love never fails

 

Even though there are only nine key points in this chapter, they are very helpful tools in how to treat people, not just difficult people, but people in general.  By using the above key points as part of your framework, you will always be reminded to love.

 

Key Point 3 – Dealing with difficult people

I can deal with difficult people in many ways.  I can leave the situation if necessary but I can never treat them badly.  I will always treat people with love, gentleness and kindness, just as Jesus treats me.

 

 

 

Prayer

 

Heavenly Father,

 

You have created all of us and we are all so very different because of your creativity.  We know Lord that if you created us all the same we would get very bored.  We lift up today the people we are clashing with, the ones who are getting on our nerves, hurting our feelings or making us feel inadequate or nervous and we place the blood of Jesus between us.  Let us get along and love Lord and heal any rifts that may exist between us.  If any of these relationships are ungodly or unhealthy I ask you to help us part company in a healthy and godly way.  I pray that you keep me mindful of your laws, that there is no law against the fruit of your Holy Spirit.  Let me deal in kindness and love, gentleness and patience when it comes to anyone I am clashing with at this time of my life.  Father I take authority of any of the enemies work in these situations and speak only love into this person’s life.  Allow us to both see how badly we are affecting each other.  Allow us to see the good characteristics in these people, just as you see ours.  Keep us from gossiping about these situations and allow us to come boldly to your throne so that we can deal with these situations efficiently and effectively.

 

Soften our hearts toward the things that you find precious Lord.

 

In the name of Jesus Christ

 

Amen


 

 

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