That Difficult Person

That Difficult Person

While praying one morning I saw, “That Difficult Person,” in bold print on the screen of my mind.

What are you saying, Lord? I waited in anticipation.

The capitalization of the first letters appeared like a label in the way people stereotype someone, such as, “Cat Lady,” or “Mad Scientist.” It seemed God was not talking about a specific person, but a “type.” Almost always, a Difficult Person exists in some realm of life—at home, in our extended families, in our neighborhoods, at work, in church, and in politics.

Hmm…tell me more…

Ask God about difficult peopleGod said to Jeremiah,  “Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” (33:3) He invites us to do the same. Yet, in my experience, God speaks in mysteries that often bypass our logical minds.

Will we search out a matter to see what’s revealed?

The first thing that came to mind was the word equilibrium, which means “a state in which opposing forces or influences are balanced.”

If we are experiencing hostility from That Difficult Person, something good of equal strength has to form inside us in order to reach equilibrium. To put it simply…

face every difficult person by moving in the opposite spiritWhere there is hate, we need to grow in love.

Where there is fear, we need to grow in courage.

Where there is lack, we need to be generous.

Where there is despair, we need greater faith.

Positive character qualities can be taught and modeled, but opposition draws a firm line—either we will become our best selves or not.

Difficult situations cause us to grow strongOpposition plays a large factor in development. Persecuted churches throughout history have typically been stronger in faith than churches under “freedom of religion.”

Think of the extreme and dangerous training that guys in Special Forces undergo. Though severely taxing, the drills prepare them for deployment.

Fine. We know all this. It’s still hard to live around Difficult People.

More faced a difficult person in Henry VIII

Thomas More

Consider these words from Thomas More (1478-1535), royal counselor to Henry VIII. He wrote about remaining unaffected by “the blast of men’s mouths,” and viewed his enemies as best friends, saying, “the brethren of Joseph (in Genesis) could never have done him so much good with their love and favour as they did him with their malice and hatred.”[i] Sounds like he had a few Difficult People in his life.

For all his accomplishments and honors, More was known to be playful and free from worldliness. But his life wasn’t a cakewalk. He faced lethal opposition from King Henry VIII when he refused to support the king’s desire to divorce Catherine of Aragon and claim the title as Head of the Church. This led to More’s imprisonment, trial, and execution—but he faced death with great composure.

Difficult overcome by your source of lifeHe had developed the equilibrium God wants in all His people…like a “tree planted by water, sending out its roots by the stream. It shall not fear when heat comes, and its leaves shall stay green. In the year of drought, it is not anxious, and it does not cease to bear fruit.”[ii]

How is this possible? When our trust in the Lord is the reality we live in.

But equilibrium is only the first stage of growth. Equal is good, but “greater” is better. The apostle John wrote, “Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.”[iii] We can go for more, “because the darkness is passing away and the true Light is already shining.”[iv]

difficult doesn't have power over those who trust GodBill Johnson, senior leader at Bethel Church in Redding California, said it this way:

“What you focus on—the kingdom you’re aware of—is what you release into the atmosphere around you. You’re actually influencing your surroundings by what’s going on inside. The world is filled with unbelief and sin and so many horrible things. The kingdom of God is filled with perfect trust and peace. You will always reflect the nature of the world you’re most aware of.”[v]

Ask God for love for that difficult personSo with each Difficult Person that crops up in life, God is giving an opportunity for growth.

Here’s what I do…

Remind difficult people who God made them to beRefuse to be easily offended. Forgive, if they’ve hurt me. Don’t allow their turmoil to steal my peace. Ask for the mind of Christ. See that every person has wounds. Grow in compassion. Actively pray for that person. Ask for supernatural love and opportunities to show that love. And if God allows, edify that person by reminding them who they really are—who God made them to be.


[i] Spiritual Classics, Richard J. Foster and Emilie Griffin, pgs. 6-7.

[ii] Jeremiah 17:7-8

[iii] 1 John 4:4b

[iv] 1 John 2:8b

[v] “Born For Revival,” Charisma, August 2016, pps. 20,22.


  1. So good. And perfectly timed! Thank you =)

  2. Thank you , Susan. I needed that.