Communication Scripture Team Building

The Value of Difficult People

February 27, 2011
You were bought at a price.
1 Corinthians 7.23
What is the value of the difficult people in your life?  You might say, they have no value, they’re a liability.  While they might feel like a liability, they definitely have value.  Maybe its not value you have placed on them, but they have value that God has placed on them. Every single person you have ever met has value before God.  They have been bought at a price, the price of the blood of Jesus Christ. Everybody you’ve ever met is someone who was so valuable to your heavenly Father that he sent his son to die for them.
As we have been working our way through this series, a number of people have approached me about the burden of a difficult person, or people, in their lives.  It might be a child or teenager at home, a boss or employee at work, a spouse, a sibling, a parent or in-law. Some people have difficulties with their neighbors, classmates or co-workers.  And, of course, there are all the difficult people who just come our way whom we don’t even know. They create difficulties for us for no reason at all.  
This weekend after Mass, ironically enough following our message about difficult people, some guy approached Chris and started giving him a hard time.  Chris did his best to remain professional and polite and actually answer this guy’s hostile questions. Eventually Chris just said, “What do you want from me?” Well, what the guy wanted was a fight and Chris wouldn’t give it to him.  
This happens to me from time to time. As a fairly public person, in a somewhat prominent position in our community, I encounter people who are difficult all the time.  There was a time when this surprised me.  Then there was a period of time when I tried to avoid it and insulate myself from it.  But I think I have grown a great deal in this area, and am neither surprised by nor overly anxious to avoid the difficult people out there.  
I need to guard my heart about the hurt they can create in my life.  I need to be diligent in acknowledging the pain I’m feeling.  It is OK to create boundaries and borders for people in your life who need them, you do not have to let people misbehave, you have a right to remove yourself from people who hurt you, you should not trust people who are untrustworthy. It isn’t about any of that, its about recognizing their value in spite of that. 
Every difficult person in you life is someone God sent his son to die for. That recognition isn’t going to make the difficult person any less difficult, but it will change how we act toward them.  That’s important, because difficult people are part of the character building project God wants us involved in. Learning how to deal effectively with difficult people is part of God’s plan for building our character…that’s their value for us.

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