by Brandy Webb
Have you ever been around an angry person, someone that reacts to situations in a volatile way or harshly? Dealing with difficult people is hard. People can be downright mean. It may be tempting to desire retaliation. But, we are called to a higher purpose. We are to return cursing with blessings (Luke 6:28), hate with love (Luke 6:27), a harsh word with gentleness (Prov 15:1). We are to fight fire with water.
When we react to fire with fire, we can set the whole situation ablaze, making it far worse than it was in the beginning. Fighting rage with rage only creates more rage. There is no room for peace. Our society seems to be full of people who just want to keep the rage going. Rational thought goes out the window, and everything around them ends up being consumed in their fire of rage. Yet, we are not supposed to react like that. A fool is quick to anger (Prov 29:11; Eccl 7:9). A fool shouts words of hate. “A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion” (Prov 18:2).
We do not want to be fools. We are called to Ambassadors of Christ. What does He tell us to do? Turn the other cheek (Matt 5:39), “love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who mistreat you and persecute you, that you may be children of your Father who is in heaven” (Matt 5:44-45). Why should we act this way? Because we want to walk in Jesus’ footsteps and be God’s children and this is how He acted. Remember, if we only love them that love us, “what reward do [we] have? Don’t even the tax collectors do the same?” (Matt 5:46).
As I said in the beginning, we are called to a higher purpose. We have the living water, the Holy Spirit, inside us (John 7:38-39), and when we are attacked by fire, we are to make sure we put it out with water, not quench the water and react with fire.
I believe that we have to deal with difficult people to help train us to react correctly. The scripture is pretty clear that when we love those that hate us, we become children of our Heavenly Father. Therefore, we must have to face difficult people to learn how to become God’s children. It isn’t any fun. Our carnal flesh is not going to want to turn the other cheek. Our carnal flesh may really want to fight back, but that isn’t our job. If we react like everyone else, then we become like everyone else and put out the light that is within us. How will the world know who the Messiah is if His people act like the world?
Let us walk in the Messiah’s footstep and be wise. A wise person ignores an insult (Prov 12:16). A wise person is “cautious and turns away from evil” (Prov 14:16). A wise person is slow to anger (Prov 14:29). A wise person can bring healing with his or her words (Prov 12:18). In fact, “the words of a man’s mouth are deep waters; the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook” (Prov 18:4). Therefore, fight fire with water, so that no one gets burned.