Are you torn up over someone in your life who just…won’t…listen to reason? Maybe it is someone who has built a case against you out of thin air. Literally “much ado about nothing”.
You have apologized for things that you don’t understand, you have extended friendship and grace when you wished you could run rather than interact.
This kind of relationship can be very much like when my Dad had Alzheimer’s. Mother and I exhausted ourselves mentally until we came to grips with the fact that there was no way to figure out why he was doing what he was doing or…help him do it differently. After all…he had Alzheimer’s!
Though his disease was tragic and far from funny, more than once we laughed at ourselves because we kept trying to fix the unfixable.
If you have a good heart, and you have someone in your life who is unreasonable, does not hear the truth and is ever contentious…ever finding the worst in others or in each new situation…you are likely going to spend some time trying to fix the unfixable.
Ask God to show you how to let go. As Christians, we find ourselves in a pickle because we are supposed to forgive and do all we can to live in harmony. Yes…but if you read Scripture in balance, you will see that God also tells us not to throw our pearls (of wisdom) to the swine. Swine are fixed in their thinking, they love the mud…and no amount of persuasion is going to keep them away from the way they want to behave.
Proverbs 9:8 says, “Do not correct the scoffer – he will hate you. Correct the wise person and he will love you.” This is a great way to know if you are dealing with a contentious and foolish person or someone who will eventually “hear” what you have to say.
Proverbs 26:4 says, “Do not answer a fool according to his folly – lest you might be like him.” How will we become like him? If we repeatedly enter into his argumentative dialogue and do not come to grips with the fact that it changes nothing…we are following his lead. Sadly, we also stay torn up over his words and actions! “Much ado about nothing.”
Hopefully it should go without saying we cannot exempt ourselves from our kids, work relationships and others over whom we have responsibility. But if you have someone in your life who causes constant contention, you may need to face the truth that you cannot continue trying to have the kind of give and take relationship where you will be heard. Nor will this be a relationship where you will hear wise and edifying things. In fact…this is not a relationship!
The problem is…you and I feel a responsibility to engage with contentious people in the same way my mom and I did with my Dad during his Alzheimer’s years. We care about them and want them to be who they once were or who we thought they were or who we wanted them to be. Not just for ourselves but for the good of our circle of family or friends.
At some point we must face the truth that this person is not capable or doesn’t have the desire to respond with wisdom and grace. God has told us to change the way we interact with this person. He tells us not to engage in this relationship the same old way. We are not helping. We are being hurt. The pain distracts us and keeps us from moving forward in our God-given purposes in a healthy way.
God has a plan for this person. Be wise. Hear His word and know that it is His plan. Perhaps your part is not to keep trying to interact normally in an abnormally contentious relationship.
Perhaps you are not called to help convince or stay as involved, but to simply…