Have you ever come up against personalities in life that were just too much to bear? At every corner those personalities tried to thwart you, attack you, malign you, oppose you. Have those personalities ever knocked you over and just when you got your footing, they drove you back down? Again, and again, and again! Their mandate being to make your life miserable and stressful.
Have you ever wanted to fight back? Throw them “under the bus” per say. Expose them for all the wrong they have done you and for all the wrong they stand for. Have you ever wanted to “do unto others as they have done to you” rather than “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Luke 3:31)? Just once, giving them a taste of their own medicine or watching them fall like a house of cards.
I have. And I am sure you have too, to some degree. We wouldn’t be human if we haven’t.
This has been my challenge, though I am not given to revenge, a few times while living on planet earth and encountering difficult personalities. The rub between doing what I know Christ would have me do and doing what my flesh longs to do is daunting, often times exhausting. I sometimes just want to see them flounder, fail, crumble or disappear. I have found myself wanting to be a part of their demise. Not terribly flattering as a follower of Christ, but the raw truth!
Recently, when dealing with a particularly divisive personality, a dear friend of mine, strong in her faith, rich in her experience and knowledgeable in the Word, spoke to me incredible words of wisdom on how to handle this individual. After we shared, she simply stated, and I quote,
“Be sure to counteract every evil move with the opposite godly spirit.”
To create a counterbalance in the spiritual realm, thus, allowing God to reign in the individual’s life, in the situation and in my spiritual growth. To counter arrogance with humility; to counter anger with love; to counter greed with generousity; to counter hostility with gentleness. In essence, cultivating all the Fruit of the Spirit in my life and commanding them to flourish and grow; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control (Galatians 5:22-23).
I put her words into immediate action and it revolutionized how I viewed this person and all that surrounded them. It gave me a deep peace and a rekindled trust in my Saviour. It grew in me a love for this individual as I began to see them through the eyes of Christ. It changed my whole perspective, my attitude and my behaviour towards this personality. It gave me lightness in my step and a refreshed outlook on how to proceed.
And guess what?
The balance shifted! By countering every evil move with the opposite godly spirit, it not only transformed me to be more like Christ, it began a change in this individual’s personality and in our ability to work together in harmony! My prayer is that this change will continue and I will have the honour of bringing this person to full regeneration through salvation.
To God be the glory!