"As much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men." Romans 12:18
Many people dream of being in full time ministry. Their goal is to work where there is praise music playing and co-workers praying. With Scripture verses on the wall and crosses around every neck, they image such a place to be holy, always joyful and peaceful. They believe that in such a place one of their primary sources of stress - getting along with difficult people - will disappear. Don't you believe it! Paul and Barnabas, two great Christian leaders, fought so badly over John Mark that they had to split up. The early church experienced financial squabbles, moral scandals and doctrinal disputes. Understand this: until the Lord comes back you will always experience difficulty relating to certain people. There is very little difference in how people operate when they are under pressure. The mind is not new, it is constantly being renewed - even the minds of Christians. This does not mean they are not sincere, it just means they are not as mature as they should be. Pettiness, greed, ambition and favoritism all creep in as the enemy fires his darts and hopes to create a flame. So if we are going to thrive in our hostile environments, we must increase our capacity to work with difficult personalities. How? By God's Word before you get to work. By committing to be Christ-like on the job in your attitudes and actions. Will you always succeed? No! Will you be stretched? Yes! Can it be done? Absolutely! "My grace is sufficient for thee" [2Corinthians 12:9]. How do you become more gracious? By drawing each day on God's grace!