To slander or abuse or speak evil of no one, to avoid being contentious, to be forbearing (yielding, gentle, and conciliatory), and to show unqualified courtesy toward everybody. Titus 3:2 Amplified Bible

Recently I heard a person ask, ” How do we handle a coworker who is constantly stirring up strife no matter how nice you try to treat her? I know we are to pray for our enemies but relationally what can we do to help turn this around or can we? ”

This is a great question and one that many of us are seeking the answer to.  Dealing with strife or possible strife type situations can be a little tricky but they are nothing when handled with the wisdom and word of God.  If you really think about it when Jesus answered Martha in Luke, he really showed us a key to handling difficult people at work, in our home and in our marriages. Lets look at what Jesus said.

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things,”  Luke 10:41 New International Version

Let’s examine all the things that are said and shown in these few words from Our Lord.  If you use the steps Jesus did you will deal with people right as well and probably win that person over and they may even become a good friend.  First of all man looks on the outside but Jesus always deals with the root and the truth.  If you are familiar with this entire story, Jesus had come to Mary and her sister Martha’s home and part of Eastern culture is to fix a guest a meal.  But Mary instead sat at Jesus feet and listened to him teach while Martha was in the kitchen getting heated because Mary would not come and help her it appears.  When Martha asked Jesus how come He did not care that Mary did not help her cook, Jesus seemed to almost ignore the cooking issue and went to the real truth.  Jesus knew that Martha was worried about ‘many things’, she just happened to use the food as an excuse to start fussing.

We have all done this.  You are really upset about one thing but the opportunity comes to go off about something else and your fleshy is like here’s my chance to go off on this person or about this situation. When people or your spouse is acting a certain way many times it’s not really the issue that is the issue that is causing the issue you are having the issue over.  Haha!!!  A husband may snap at his wife because he knows inside he does not have enough money to pay everything and he’s known about it for two weeks.  Right before he walked in the house the bill collector called him on his cell and told him they’re going to do such and such if he does not do so and so.  Meanwhile the wife is at home and has been thinking :”When Jim gets home I am going to ask him about what does he want for dinner?”  Jim steps in and his wife greets him and ask the question and where he would normally say grilled chicken and vegetables he instead says, “You don’t have dinner done yet? You knew I was on the way home.”  Now his wife knows he normally does not act that way but the way he said it hurt her feelings and she snaps back and then bam, the seed of strife is trying to plant itself.

My point is what did Jesus have to stop and do in order to give Martha the answer He did?  He had to think about her and not  Himself and take the time and think, “What is really wrong with Martha?”  Then the Holy Spirit reveals it to Him and he is able to give her a gentle rebuke and tell her he knows whats really going on all at the same time.  How did Jesus do that?  LOVE.  Love is not selfish.  It doesn’t seek its own rights and its own way because it is not self seeking.  And most important, LOVE NEVER FAILS!!!  So when a person keeps acting in a strifeful manner don’t think about yourself, take the time and think what is really going on with that person Lord and how can I help.  He may not tell you but He may say, “Give her fifty dollars.”   Don’t get all riled up and say, “Lord did you see the way she just treated me?” Of course he did. But He knows the person drove to work on fumes and they are wondering how they are going to get gas to make it to the daycare to pickup their child as well as buy dinner tonite because they have no food either.  This leads us back to our opening text.

To slander or abuse or speak evil of no one, to avoid being contentious, to be forbearing (yielding, gentle, and conciliatory), and to show unqualified courtesy toward everybody. Titus 3:2 Amplified Bible

I want you to look at the last part of that scripture.  It says we are to show “unqualified courtesy to everybody”.  That means the person who qualifies for no courtesy is the main one you are to show courtesy to.  Why? Because thats what God the Father (I like to call Him Big Poppa and he loves it when I do) and Jesus did to you.  You didn’t qualify for blessing but He gave it to you anyway.  You didn’t qualify to be made righteous but He made you righteous anyway through Jesus.  And besides that you will get all your money back plus some when you take the fifty dollars and the person starts crying and telling you the real reason they been acting ugly.  THAT IS GRACE!!! THAT IS JESUS!! He is full of GRACE and TRUTH and He will lead and guide you into all Truth by the Holy Spirit. Just pull your flesh back and stay in love and watch what happens.  You don’t know what that person is dealing with and it could be any number of things from self-hatred, to divorce, to just plain old no joy or no peace.  But you have joy and you have peace or shalom and it was given to you by Jesus and Jesus said, “Freely you have received, so freely give.”

So next time a person keeps up in strife make the decision to keep loving them. Don’t join in with the strife then the devil wins.    Keep on loving them and if you miss it and get into strife don’t get condemned.  Just receive superabounding GRACE and remember God is Love and LOVE NEVER FAILS!!!!   Show unqualified courtesy to everyone just like Jesus remembering that as He is so are you in this world.

All the “blessed” to you!!!  Shalom!


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