2003-08-15 - Passages About Difficult
Originally Published 2000-09-03
Today we will look at some of the Bible's passages about dealing with difficult
people. Of course this is an area where we really need the Spirit's discernment,
in order to remain balanced. God wants us to love everyone, but He doesn't
want us to be doormats. Jesus was never a doormat. And he held people responsible
for their behavior. Whether it meant loving forgiveness, one-on-one
confrontations, or putting up boundaries, He sought what was best for the
(Mat 18:15-17 NRSV) If another member of the church sins
against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If
the member listens to you, you have regained that one.
16 But if you are not listened to, take one or two others
along with you, so that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two
or three witnesses. 17 If the member refuses to listen to
them, tell it to the church; and if the offender refuses to listen even to
the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.
(Mat 18:21-22 NRSV) Then Peter came and said to him, "Lord,
if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive?
As many as seven times? 22 Jesus said to him, "Not seven times, but, I tell
you, seventy-seven times."
(Mat 5:44-45 NRSV) But I say to you, Love your enemies
and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may
be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil
and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous.
(Rom 12:17-20 NRSV) Do not repay anyone evil for evil,
but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all.
18 If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably
with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room
for the wrath of God; for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay,
says the Lord." 20 No, if your enemies are hungry, feed them;
if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you
will heap burning coals on their heads.
(1 Pet 2:18 NRSV) Slaves, accept the authority of your
masters with all deference, not only those who are kind and gentle but also
those who are harsh.