Saturday, August 29, 2009

Sunday Sermon: Pirate attacks and practical truths

When one is running ninety-to-nothin' with one's hair on fire, one does not stop to blog.

Such has been my life lately.

St. Michael's been tiling the kitchen counters; I've been painting cabinets, cleaning out cabinets and drawers, and also trying to get back in the groove at the local intermediate school . . . Going to meetings. Buying new books. Going to meetings. Unpacking old books. Going to meetings. Unpacking files and miscellaneous papers. Going to more meetings. Rearranging classroom desks, tables, and chairs. Going to even more meetings. Creating lesson plans. And then finally flinging open the door to Room 105, The Land of Muz (where I am Queen), to greet my new babies!

Don't tell anyone I said this (I always say I hate kids), but few things are more exciting to me than starting a new school year and watching a brand new crop of sixth-graders invade the halls of the intermediate school. (And my kids this year are absolutely adorable!)

Still, it's tough. Juggling the first few weeks of school while finishing up a kitchen remodel (even a relatively minor one) . . . preparing for and teaching a weekend Bible study . . . planning and writing material for the upcoming St. Michael's Wife and the Texas Two-Step class . . . and just trying to do life in general -- whew! (And I know that I'm not by any stretch the Lone Ranger. Lots' of you can identify; in fact, most women are big-time jugglers just because of we ARE women, and that's what we do.)

Anyway, I realized when I looked at my last blog entry on dealing with difficult people that I really should have included some of the practical steps that went along with that particular "Sunday Sermon." So, bloggin' sistas, here they are . . . just in case ya need 'em. (And I'm gettin' back in the groove, so I will be back to bloggin' more often -- even if nobody else reads a word of it!)

Practical Truths to Hang Onto

When Dealing With Difficult People

Official Visual Aid: Often difficult people come in the form of family members. A big brother who thinks he is a pirate with a magic marker sword would qualify.

Callie, the Pirate Victim. (A difficult person might also be a mom who takes your picture when you've been attacked by a pirate AND are having a bad hair day.)

Okay, now . . . once again,

Practical Truths to Hang Onto

When Dealing With Difficult People

  • Understand that love is not a feeling. It is a conscious choice and action. The warm fuzzy feeling that accompanies liking someone may never come. And yet, we can choose -- without the warm fuzzy feelings -- to act in someone else's best interest. That's what love does.
  • Recognize that while it is a fact that someone has certain feelings (even we, ourselves), feelings, in and of themselves, are not facts. Therefore, learn to walk in truth, to walk by faith, according to the facts. For example, I may feel stung by a friend's careless comment, but more than likely, if I think about the fact of the situation, I have to admit that my friend would never intentionally hurt me. She simply wasn't thinking when she spoke. I then have a choice to make: I can 1) react out of my hurt and either become sullen and withdrawn or lash out and possibly say something I shouldn't say either; or 2) I can forgive my friend -- after all, I, too, have been known to say a few dumb things, myself -- and move on. To nurse an unintentional slight doesn't do me or my sista-friend any good.
  • Dealing with difficult people in a Christ-like way is not always easy. In fact, in our humanness, it’s downright impossible! So recognize from the start that you must allow God to work through you, supernaturally. As an act of your will, give the relationship to Him, trusting Him to work all things together for your good (Romans 8:28). And for the record, you do realize what that good is, don't you? If we read on to Romans 8:29, we see that God's definition of good is whatever contributes to making us look more like His Son. (Yeah, I know, my definition of good doesn't always match up with His, either.)
  • Never “hit the streets” without your bullet-proof vest. In other words, just as a police officer's job is to "keep the peace, to serve and to protect," she knows that no everyone is going to appreciate her mission. Therefore, she doesn't go to the streets unprotected or without the necessary weapon. And neither should we! We need to cover our concerns and challenges in prayer, and we need to be armed with every spiritual weapon at our disposal (Ephesians 6:10-18). To enter what could be a battlefield in any other way, is to step out naked and unarmed. Not a pretty sight! And not very safe either. So, don't let fear keep you from loving someone the way God has called you to, but love intelligently and “preparedly,” not foolishly and blindly.
  • Try gentle confrontation, but be prepared to accept the things you cannot change and to change the things you can -- yourself and your own attitude. (Ouch!)

  • Abandon your expectations. Often, difficult people are not able to give you what you want or need from them. Ever.

“Some people are unable or unwilling to change

the way they deal with you. Peace comes when

we truly accept that our actions or words cannot

change difficult people” (Clair Bradshaw).

  • Realize that, often, the difficulties these people cause actually have nothing to do with you, anyway, but have more to do with themselves.
  • Give your pain a voice. Find a godly sounding board, and let the pain out. Listen to wise counsel.

  • Look past the anger, and examine your deeper emotions. What is it about this person that affects you the way he or she does?

  • Pray for a willing heart -- willing to overlook, willing to forgive, willing to heal, willing to love.

Grins and blessings until next time!


  1. great post! I've had to come to terms with several of your points. Some peeps just wave their permanent markers around willy nilly and we can always tell it to Jesus. See my Spiritual Sunday post for how our 1st week went. xox!


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