Originally published Thursday, 16 November 2017.
Have you ever encountered a person who was just plain rude, mean, cold, or distant towards you and you didn’t quite know why? If so, how did you handle that type of behavior? Are you dealing with it now? If it's happened to you, know that you are totally not alone, sister! The Bible tells us in 1 Peter 5:9, “Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are.”
That’s right! Suffering – because it doesn’t feel good at all. Yet, I want to tell you that there is a way that we can deal with individuals who do act in either of those ways. As Christian women, we can know how to respond well biblically, right now.
The Bible tells us in Proverbs 15:1, “A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.” Think about it. How many times have you gotten into a heated argument with someone in your household, a friend, someone behind the counter, in the drive-thru line, at work, or church for that matter and lost your temper? Have you ever been there before? Have you ever experienced a cold person? Furthermore, have their unkind actions caused you to respond improperly?
Well, I’ll tell you, I’ve been there. But this particular verse has really helped me over the years to deflect it. In other words, from a natural and biblical perspective, to deflect anger is to simply cause the other person to change direction, veer, to deviate or diverge by your gentle response. Because if you don’t deflect it (i.e. change the course of the encounter) and you begin to challenge the person with a tougher response, that’s when tempers flare, arguments break out, or you may say or do something that you never intended to say or do in the first place. So, the next time you find yourself dealing with a cold person, try being gentle, while not giving into the temptation to react negatively. In so many words, choose a gentle answer.
A practical way of dealing with individuals that may seem cold towards you for no apparent reason is to ask him or her, “Have I done anything wrong or offended you in any way?” Take the low, humble, clueless road. Or be overly kind. Go the extra mile to do the right thing. This will hopefully give them time to think about their negative actions. NOTE: Regardless to how they respond, you remain patient, forgiving, and choose to counter it with love and persistent humility.
I know that’s hard! Especially when you know deep down inside that you haven’t done this particular person anything wrong. Trust me, I get it, sis! Been there too!
BUT…consider how the Lord would want you to respond as His daughter (especially in a public setting). Also, think about the idea that maybe this person just has a lot on their mind. Or maybe they're dealing with a personal problem and you’re just the first person to take it out on. It’s usually deeper than what the natural eye can see.
So try not to take it personally. Instead, be concerned without being tempted by the enemy to cause additional strife or tension stemming from their cold attitude or demeanor. Try to keep in mind that we are responsible for our actions, not the other individual. Again, deflect it with a gentle answer. ;-)
Now, I want to talk to you about if someone is giving you the cold shoulder, because you have in fact said or done something wrong, hurtful, or offensive. In this case, their having a cold shoulder towards you may not be the right reaction, but they have a right to be upset. When this happens, choose to pray, repent, and apologize. Make amends. Restore and mend the broken pieces. The Bible tells us in Philippians 2:13-14, “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. Do everything without complaining and arguing.”
Lastly, we know that in the last days, the love of many will wax cold (see Matthew 24:12). People will just do mean, arrogant, hateful things plainly because they’re either in the world (not saved) or angry about everything. Unfortunately, these are our times. So whether it’s cold in the world, relationships, people we encounter who are just being mean or rude for no reason, or persecution - the Lord gives us His Word to help us.
For instance, love, gentleness, and humility. They are all great life-changing keys to freedom, peace, and right relationships! And if you go a bit deeper, these are all attributes of God and the fruit of the Spirit (see Galatians 5:22-23). In addition to these things, the Word of God lays out our biblical and proper response in Romans 12:17-18 saying, “Never pay back evil for more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.”
It goes on to say in Romans 12:19-20, “Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, ‘I will take revenge; I will pay them back, says the Lord. Instead, ‘If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.'” In other words, they will feel wrong for what they’ve done or said to you, because you’ve blessed them or been kind to them, instead of retaliating.
I think it’s safe to close this post with this verse in Romans 12:21 which says, “Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.” You can do this, sis. And so can I! ;-)
Remember, Jesus is coming back soon! And those who endure unto the end shall be saved. So let’s be ready from the Inside Out!
Resources: Here is a helpful resource this week. It’s entitled, “Mean Girls All Grown Up: Surviving Catty and Conniving Women.” Oh my, right! I KNOW! LOL! But it’s so real and helpful!!! Grab it today!
QUESTION: Have you experienced some mean, rude, or cold individuals in your life lately? If so, how have you dealt with them or how are you trying to deal with it now? If you need prayer on this issue, or anything for that fact, let me know by emailing me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll join you in prayer. I look forward to hearing from you soon. God bless!
ALSO, my NEW 8-Week Study Guide and Video Teaching Series from my book, "IDENTIFIED: Knowing Who You Are in Christ & Moving Forward in Your Purpose” is coming soon!!! Stay Tuned!
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