Monday, February 1, 2016

When People are Rude and Hurtful

 I saw this post on Facebook from one of my friends...

"I'm trying not to be upset/offended by how rude some people can be. I am about at the point of just not talking to some people anymore. Period. Pray for me in this. I don't want to be rude either but I don't want certain people to think it's OK to be rude at the same time. What to do, what to do. Any advice ?"

Never one to pass up the invitation to give advice, here's what I came up with...

It's hard when people are rude and hurtful, so what does the Bible say about how we are to handle a situation like this?

I have two go-to passages of scripture that I lean on when things like this happen.

First - Proverbs 19:11 "A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense."   - So, I try to overlook the offense. I often say that a person would have to go a long way to offend me, because I refuse to be easily offended. Being offended is a choice. A person can be a jerk, but we don't have to let their actions or words offend us to the point that we lose our peace.

Second - if someone commits an offense that it is actually a sin, I do what it says in Matthew 15:17-18 - “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector."   - How does the Bible say we treat a pagan or a tax collector? We are to love them in spite of who they are.

Another person responded to the post with this...

I have problems with confronting some people... It comes down to confront them or forgive and forget them. Sometimes the latter is easier for me.

I agree it can be hard to confront some people because we pretty know their reaction will be bad. I don't really like the word "confront" because it carries the image of harsh face-to-face argument. The Bible, however, teaches us to go to one another in a spirit of love, approach them at the right time (not when you're angry), in the right way (with soft words and willingness to hear their side with understanding), and with a forgiving spirit,( even if the issue is not resolved). When done like this, a relationship may be salvaged, mended and made stronger than ever.

Hope this is helpful to you.

What about you - how do you handle a situation like this?

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1 comment: said...

HI, Great post. Rude people are everywhere. If I have a person that is continually rude I follow the biblical steps. If they refuse to change I do not associate with them. I love them, pray for them, and will be there for them if they are in need, but I do not allow them to upset me.