Difficult People

Jennifer Ellis

2 Timothy 1:7-9

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God.

As someone who works in Christian media, I often encounter hurting and angry people. Many times over the years people have called, angry about an article in our newspaper or have commented negatively on our website. When I first started in my job, I felt unqualified, unable to dialogue with these people, but now I feel it might be the most important work I do.

One day someone called our office very upset about an article. She had misread the content and wanted to stop going to church over it. I was able to listen to her, clarify the article and the position on the issue and personally invite her to continue her life in the church. She thanked me for listening.

I have had other callers who were not as receptive and hung up still angry. Another person has commented on a website about one of our shows. There was a time when I was too afraid to have an online, completely public dialogue. Now, I am bolder and, more importantly, I care enough about the other person to continue the often difficult conversation. I have spoken up, challenged people and spoken God’s truth on our website, as well on my personal social media outlets.

God is pouring his grace into these conversations because I am able to speak lovingly, charitably and truthfully. By his grace I have become aware of the value of each one of these souls. If I can make a difference in the path of even one of them, the risk of being embarrassed, chided, insulted or attacked is worth it.

TAKE THE CHALLENGE: Who are the difficult people you encounter at work? At home? Online? How does God want to use you?