Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Dealing with people who hurt or offend you

Recently I really struggled with a situation with another family that had really offended us many times. We did not say anything as we really believe that it was not intentional but just a difference in our personalities. We let many things ago until one of them made some very derogatory remarks about some people that we really love. When this happened, and we knew it was intentional I went to him the moment there was not other people around him and asked him not to speak of them in such a way because I really care about them and that I found his words to be very offensive. His response was to laugh and continue making the remarks about them over again. That is when my search of how to handle people that offend you began. In the bible it has very clear instructions on how to handle it if they are a believer and they have "sinned" against you. Here's the thing I'm wondering about... wouldn't it be very important to be sure then that this person has indeed sinned against you rather then just offended you or you just are not terribly fond of their personalities? The bible also tells us to take the plank out of our own eye before helping someone remove the splinter out of their own. So, If we are not first being and feeling loving towards this couple do we have any place to go to them? We are very uncomfortable now around them and they are involved in something we are as well and we have many mutual friends. We are trying to understand clearly how God wants us to handle this situation before doing anything about it. We continue to pray that God will give us a different heart towards them but it seems as soon as we are near them again it does not take long until something is done or said that has us cringing. We know we are called to love everyone, but how do you manage a loving heart towards someone that you really struggle just to like. Yes, we realize our responsibility to continue praying about our hearts towards them in this situation. We really do want our hearts towards them to be different. That really is what it comes down to isn't it?

Well, it seems God really wants us to understand how to handle this issue because now a new problem has come up. This time it is regarding one person (who claims to be a Christian, but we have seen many things to cause us to wonder if there really is a relationship) who we feel has made an unfair accusation against us. Not only did he make this accusation but he involved many other people and never said a word to us. We were shocked and hurt when someone contacted us to try and resolve this "problem". We couldn't believe how many people where talking behind our backs. Of course this hurt us and upset us because the complaint against us was so over exaggerated, and the people involved we have only treated with great kindness so were hurt that they would not treat us the way that we treat them. However, this is the way the world works, isn't it? The majority of the people involved are not Christians so we will not address them regarding the issue. However, the person that instigated all of this claims to be. So now we find ourselves in a situation again where we wonder... Do we confront the person instigating the accusation and not coming to us first? When we heard the complaint we gladly and quickly resolved the "problem". But now there is the how to handle our relationships with those involved. So, I would love to hear any and all advice on this (and gladly accept your prayers!). You can comment on the blog or email me privately at angnjim@sbcglobal.net


ManyBlessings said...

Let me know what you find out. I am in sort of similar situation right now and praying on how to best handle things.

ange said...

Pastor Paul was talking about this today on Eduring Truth, I missed most of the message today because I was talking to Carrie on the phone, but if you have a minute you might see if you can listen to it on his website. I only caught the first few minutes so I am unsure of what the rest is about, but I love listening to him regardless.
I will pray for you my friend.
My dad always says to kill them with kindness.
My mom always turns the other cheek and ignores them.
My heart always aches when a situation like this arises but I tend to bury the hurt and slowly give it up to God and focus more on what God has me here doing and less on what that person or persons did to me.
HOWEVER, in my flesh I am a runner so if I were you, I would pack up my bags and move to Houston to be closer to my dear friends in Austin, so that would be my advice to yall!

Beka said...

Angela, I seem to always have you on my mind alot just before I find out you are going through something. I will be praying for you, my friend,

Advice.....be encouraged in the Lord. He will never leave you or forsake you!


Keziah said...

Adopt another child. It's greatly therapeutic.
Seriously, I'm not good on the advice thing, but I'm praying for you and Jim.

Ericka said...

I hate these types of situations - they're so stressful and disruptive! Wish I had some great advice, but know I"m praying for you.
How's little Johnny doing?

Britney said...

Wow! Thank you SO much for posting that! I'm going through a very similar situation and I'm struggling with it. I don't know how to deal with the situation. In fact I don't even know if I should. This person has hurt me so bad that I dread seeing her at work. But reading your post where you explain what the Bible says, and how it says we should examine our own selves, that really spoke to me. I know you're looking for answers yourself, but just know that you have helped someone else through your struggle! Thank you!