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Some people are…
just not nice.
Some people, for whatever their reasons, are just unreasonable and there is not much else to say. Such people can be mean and have bad attitudes. Some are up front; some are sneaky. I say it this way: “Some people are jerks… and that’s their good side.”
We all know a few. It is not IF you will encounter one, but WHEN. The question then is: What are you going to do when you encounter a mean-spirited, unreasonable person? It is best to determine this before the encounter.
Paul encountered one in today’s Scripture passage–an especially mean-spirited one. His advice is worthy of mention. He said, “…be on your guard against him…” Paul recognized that this man could not be reasoned with and the only course of action was to avoid him.
I have seen people attempt to reason with such ones. Seldom is it successful. In most cases, it ends in more hurt and offense.
- Sometimes (often) the unreasonable person interprets the reasonable person’s kindness and desire to get along as weakness and takes it as an opportunity to press their attack.
- Other times the unreasonable person has a mental, emotional, or experiential issue that causes them to see the world in a different way from a reasonable person. FYI: These you cannot fix with “niceness”.
- And then, there are a few who are just so mean-spirited that they actually enjoy the conflict. Especially in this case, do not be their entertainment.
Now, let me shift to some pastorly advice:
Your responsibility is not to “save” everyone. Your responsibility as a Believer is to speak the truth when you have a reasonable opportunity to do so. If someone is being unreasonable, it is therefore not a reasonable opportunity.
You cannot “fix” everyone. Some do not want to be “fixed”; some are unable to be “fixed”. Your responsibility in either case is to pray for them. If they can be “fixed”, God will do it in His way and time.
You are not required to be a punching bag or a doormat. Be as reasonable as you can, but if they mistreat you or behave unreasonably, get away from them. Perhaps there will be a better time. Perhaps there will not. Either way, get out of their spiritual, emotional, or physical reach. It is better to have to leave than to have to recover.
Take Paul’s advice: Be on your guard against such people. Do what God has called you to do, be reasonable as you do it, and stay out of the way of those who only want to hinder you, criticize you, beat you down, or beat you up.
You have better things to do–like doing what God called you to do. Leave the unreasonable people to Him. (He knows what to do with them… He’s had a lot of experience.)
Here are times for the Zoom calls I promised in my year-end update:
Wed. Jan. 25, 2023 09:00 AM Central
Thurs. Jan. 26, 2023 07:00 PM Central
Sun. Jan. 29, 2023 06:00 PM Central
Though every TS reader is welcome, if you are a supporter and/or pray for us, I would especially like to meet you on this call. I’ll post links in Monday’s TS message.
FYI: This will be the first event in our new studio! I hope you’ll check it out!
“Today’s Seed” Scripture and Prayer for Jan. 20, 2023:
Alexander the metalworker did me a great deal of harm. The Lord will repay him for what he has done. You too should be on your guard against him, because he strongly opposed our message. (2 Tim 4:14-15 NIV)
Prayer: LORD, when someone is intentionally harmful to me or what You have commissioned me to do, I would like to reason with them. Some people, however, are just not reasonable. Increase Your wisdom in me so I can discern whether to attempt to get along with someone or avoid them altogether. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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“Today’s Seed” from E-MIN Jan. 20, 2023