They are family, friends, co-workers, classmates, neighbors, acquaintances and even church members. You stumble into them and know that a war awaits. They raise your blood pressure and always seem ready to fight. They are “Complicated People.”
Usually we do our best to avoid them. If we see them coming our way we seek to run or hide. If we recognize their name on the caller ID we don’t answer. Should we have to encounter them we pray God gives us patience and deliverance. Sometimes complicated people are avoidable, but sometimes they aren’t. Complicated people force us to put together a different game plan when it comes to dealing with their unpredictable behavior. Here are some things we should do….
1. DON’T TAKE THINGS PERSONAL
Complicated people aren’t trying to be complicated, they just are complicated. There is no rhyme or reason as to what they say or do. They are like a baby full of milk who has been shaken and then throws up on whoever might be near them at the moment. It’s not personal, but simply a reflection of a battle raging within them. Complicated people are dealing with a volcano on the inside that keeps erupting on the outside. Each of us operate out of where we are and out of the overflow of our heart’s condition.
(Luke 6:45) “Good people bring good things out of the good stored up in their heart, and evil people bring evil things out of the evil stored up in their heart. For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.”
2. BE SLOW TO SPEAK
Saying too much to a complicated person is like pouring gasoline on a fire. It just flares things up and increases the chaos. Complicated people wait for you to say anything that might even seem the slightest bit offensive so that they might have a cause to defend.Don’t ever think you can win a battle of words with someone who is not healthy enough to carry on a healthy conversation. Listen to what they are saying and consider deeply what is necessary and beneficial to say. Saying a bunch of words may make you feel better at the moment, but if all you do is stoop to their level nothing good will come from it.
(James 1:19-20) 19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because our anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.
3. LOVE THEM LIKE JESUS
The most complicated people are flat miserable. They feel unloved, unappreciated, and that no one really cares. They take on a seemingly carefree attitude when in all actuality they just want to be accepted, loved, and appreciated. Often times when someone is starving for attention they will take it any way they can get it (Positive or Negative).The greatest sign that God lives within us is God’s love pouring through us. Complicated people don’t need some love, they need more love.
(1 John 4:11-13) 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. 13 This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit.
4. STEP AWAY WHEN NECESSARY
There are times we have to step away. You stick around complicated people too long and you will soon become like the company you keep. Scripture tells us that even Jesus found it necessary to step away from the crowds and complicated people. Notice, I did not say run away, but step away. Take time to refocus, regroup, and recharge in God’s presence. This will allow you the opportunity to look proactively instead of reactively at life’s challenges.
(Luke 5:16) Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.
5. PRAY FOR THEM…..
Only God can heal the hurting, harassed and helpless. None us can fix anyone or change someone’s heart. Only God can heal them and give them peace from the inside/out.
I believe one of the areas we fail miserably in as Christ followers is our lack of prayer and especially prayer for those we feel oppose us. Instead of wishing them harm, pray they find God’s peace and purpose in their life. They matter to God, so they should matter to us. Their words may be sharp, but their pain is deep. They may act very careless, but inside they feel hopeless. Pray that God heals the root of what is bothering them and that they might soon be able to process what is tormenting them.
(Matthew 5:44) But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,