It is not uncommon throughout the course of a day or a week to encounter “difficult people.” Those people who are high-voltage and it does not take much for them to shock and hurt others.
A lesson the Lord is continuing to teach me is that I must learn to deal with difficult people without always having conflict. Why? James 3:18 is a powerful reminder. “And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” (James 3:18 ESV) What a person sows, they reap. Every day in every relationship I am sowing seeds. I might be sowing seeds of anger or seeds of trust or seeds of conflict or seeds of peace. Every day in every relationship I am sowing seeds.
The essential question is “How do I become a person who plants seeds of peace in my relationships?” The Book of James in the New Testament provides clear insight into daily living. James says in chapter 3 that the key in every relationship is to act with wisdom toward people. Read James 3:13-18. Notice James is not speaking about knowledge rather wisdom. It is not that knowledge is a bad thing. Anyone can make deductions regarding their relationships but James says we need “wisdom from above…”
Wise people work at maintaining harmony. They are peaceable or peace-loving. There are some who are what I consider to be high-voltage people. People who are are always looking for a fight. People who are consistently argumentative. It’s seems to be their nature.
Maybe you are married to a person like this or work with a person like this. How do we respond? James reveals that the wisdom from above is loves peace.
“It is an honor for a man to keep aloof from strife, but every fool will be quarreling.” (Proverbs 20:3 ESV)
Any one who is married understands the high voltage lever of their spouse. And often times spouses choose not to avoid these high voltage levers. When an argument (I mean, “discussion”) begins and the tendency is to pull out the arsenal. We know exactly what will make our spouse erupt. When we know what makes another person angry and we use it anyway the Bible says that’s foolish! So if I’m wise, I’m peace-loving and I will not fuel another person’s anger.
Even though an awkward or a confrontational conversation needs to take place, wisdom focuses on the timing of those conversations.
There are a couple of consistent actions that seem to fuel anger more than others.
Comparing. “Why can’t you be like…. “ When someone feels they are not measuring up they often become angry. “You’re just like … ““...But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.” (2 Corinthians 10:12 ESV)
Condemning. “It’s all your fault!” “You should be ashamed!” Anytime you start a sentence with “you” often times we are condemning. “You ought… You must… You always… You never… You should… You shouldn’t…” Lay on the guilt. A lot of marriages are buried by a lot of little digs. It seems there is always an attack.
Do you want to plant seeds of peace? If you are wise, you don’t sweat the small stuff.
The philosopher William James said, “Wisdom is the art of knowing what to overlook.”
What needs to be overlooked today?