What if you have someone in your life who is a thorn in your side? Someone who constantly tries to sabotage you, either subtly or outwardly so? How do you deal with that? How do you keep from letting that get to you, consume you, infiltrate and ruin your days, especially if it’s someone in your own home?
Firstly, we cannot change anyone, how they behave, and what they think of us. Bottom line, not everyone is going to like us. And we can’t change anyone, but we can change ourselves. Therein lies the miracle, the resurrection from a dead place. The place from where we live is not outside of us but from that which is within us. Therefore, it’s so crucial to get right with God – asking forgiveness for sin, acknowledging that Christ is Lord and seated at the right-hand of the Father ,after dying on the cross to save us from eternal condemnation and sin.
After that, you don’t have to work hard to earn God’s love, to win His favor, to prove your worthiness. When you accept Christ as your Lord and Savior and ask forgiveness for your sins, you are immediately set a part to pursue a renewed life. He loves you unconditionally every day. There is nothing you can do to get him to love you more because he loves you tremendously. So, whether you are a missionary abroad or sitting on your sofa watching “The Housewives….”, he loves you the same. Sure, he’s pleased when we reflect him and speak of him to others, but that does not increase or decrease his love for us. So, once you get that, you start operating on solid ground within your soul and spirit. The stronger you grow within, the weaker outside negativity influences you.
Secondly, just as the Pharisees constantly followed Jesus trying to point out any flaws and mistakes, so too will we have people in our lives that will do the same. Miserable people must find fault in others to make themselves feel worthy. When Jesus traveled about teaching, preaching, and performing miracles, the Pharisees constantly finger pointed how he broke their rules. How did Jesus respond to them? This is important…and life changing. He told them to learn what was written in the scriptures or asked them hadn’t they read the scriptures.
This meant Jesus knew scripture, took the time to read and study scripture because the Word of God is sharper than a two-edged sword; it gives us the ability to slice through lies leveled at us; it strengthens us with Holy Spirit power, grounding us stronger in the Father. “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12
He knew they didn’t know the heart of God. They just wanted to live by their own rules, and if they thought people weren’t living according to how THEY saw the world and their constantly changing rules to keep them happy then they would condemn those who followed Christ. That’s not love. That’s selfishness. That’s too much focus on self that is founded on a finite humanity not the beauty of God’s healing, powerful, thriving plan for our lives and His unconditional and eternal love.
And Christ didn’t let their earthly authority deter him from doing what was right in the eyes of his Father. Who were they, in their humanity, to tell him, above his Father, how he should live? He did not compromise. He didn’t argue with them either, which is what a lot of people like to do. As if they need to convince you they are right. Jesus never stood around arguing and convincing.
He gave them Truth and moved on. They could receive it or discard it. And because their hearts were closed, they did not have access to the deeper things of God. As Christians, we do. As Christ believers, we get a "hall pass" to the knowledge and wisdom of God that sets us free from the bonds of this world. "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children...no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him." Matthew 11:25-27.
So, because Jesus knew the love and the true nature of his Father, he didn’t let the small time, rule makers, bother him in any way. Who were they, ultimately, compared to his heavenly Father?
Thirdly, people who have no love within, who are miserable, who are flailing, who are in a desperate emotional condition will go out of their way to make others miserable. It’s the only way they can feel good about themselves. This isn’t something about which to get upset. It’s something over which to pray. To be someone living under those conditions is lonely, tragic, and dark. You may get “stung” by the lash of their tongue, but praise God you don’t live in that kind of miserable darkness.
That’s cause enough to celebrate each day. “The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.” Proverbs 15:4. The only way we can allow a perverse tongue to crush us is if we don’t know our value in Christ. But once we know how loved and cherished, we are, how we are a crown of splendor in the LORD’S hand, a royal diadem in the hand of our God, no longer are we called deserted…” Isaiah 62:3, the rigid rules and unkindness of others fades.
Thus, knowing self in Christ changes everything, especially when it comes to dealing with negative people, even ones in our home until we can separate from them. The stronger we grow in Christ, the more fragile and destitute we see the one delivering the dirt. Pray that Christ would grip their hearts and renew their spirits. We are often the “word” of God, in how we live. We are often all people will see. When people see what Christ does in your life, they will be inspired.