Louise and I are at Orange. It is so great to be here surrounded by so many ministry leaders from around the nation. We arrived, set up our booth and headed off for the first seminar, “Dealing with Difficult Families.”
Steve Adams of Saddleback Community Church shared a practical and challenging word about dealing with difficult people that can help all of us. Bottom line: Listen, learn and love.
When dealing with difficult people I need to listen to them. They need to know they have my undivided attention. I need to look at them. Uncross my arms. Put away my handheld device. Forget others walking by. Really listen to them. We have all been here. There are times when we need to deal with difficult people — got any challenging family members to deal with? I have to LISTEN. This requires getting outside of myself and focusing on them. I have to remember “it is not about me.”
When I listen I will LEARN. What is on their heart? What is driving their concern? Is there something I can do to help? How can I serve this person in front of me?
And why would I serve them? Why would I care? Because the love of Christ compels me to LOVE them. He LOVES them. If I am the body of Christ, His love compels me to love them also. This is the driving response that comes from His heart and His Spirit. I do not possess the capacity to love the difficult person apart from His grace. But the good news is: He has given His grace. He is sufficient to the need.
I was also struck during this breakout by another thought. As families living with hidden disabilities we often deal with very difficult issues. But that doesn’t mean we have to be “difficult people.” Our goal should always be to share our difficult challenges in a kind, loving and truth-filled way. After all, we are addressing our concerns to another person who is loved of the Father. He would have us speak the truth in LOVE.
Because He lives,