Let’s face it. All of us have people in our life that get under our skin. They may belittle us, criticize us, intimidate us or just plain ole irritate us. Our natural reaction to these people is not always a godly reaction. Some of us speak before thinking and have a mess to clean up later.
But even for those of us who somehow manage to zip our lip, what plays out upstairs secluded in our own private security controlled central intelligence unit is often quite different that what comes out of our mouth.
So what’s the best way to deal with rude people. How can we keep them from ruffling our feathers? Here’s 4 things to keep in mind when others are continually rude:
- Don’t try to correct them: Whoever corrects a mocker invites insult; whoever rebukes a wicked man incurs abuse (Proverbs 9:7). Here’s a rule of thumb I try to live by. If someone doesn’t ask my advice, I keep my opinion to myself. Unrequested advice is perceived as criticism.
- Don’t try to change them: Typically when we try to change others, we either end up ensnared in their rebellion or ensnared in bitterness because they don’t respond the way we want. Then we end up giving our best strength to others and our toil enriches their lives (Proverbs 5:9-10).
- Ask God to give you grace. Maybe they’ve had a bad day. Maybe they are insecure. Maybe they are immature. Whatever the case, a prudent man overlooks an insult (Proverbs 12:16).
- Ask God for his perspective on the situation. If this is a relationship you can’t ignore, ask the Lord what he is trying to accomplish in you through the conflict and adversity. When you know adversity is an assignment and not an assassination, your response is completely different because you are answering to a higher authority.