Anger · Conflict

How To Respond When People Irritate Us

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We had an evangelist friend who would often say, The ministry would be fun if it weren’t for people! We are all probably tempted to say that about life in general! Life would be fun if it weren’t for people! Why?

  • People irritate us!
  • People get in our way!
  • People do sinful things that hurt us!
  • People say sinful things that wound our hearts!
  • People don’t do what we want them to do!

This has been the case since the beginning of Adam’s family. As we look at I Samuel 25 we find an exciting story with a quiet plea, an angry, blood-thirsty man, and a beautiful, wise woman. Are you familiar with David and Nabal?

David was angered because Nabal wouldn’t feed him and his men after they’d been kind to him. This infuriated David so much that he set on a rampage to kill all of Nabal’s household. His reactions was a bit overboard, right? Did he have a right? Was there a cause for his anger?

Let’s look inside the details of this event.

Who is involved in this story?
Nabal – Scripture tells us in I Samuel 25 that Nabal was a rude, foolish man. He will live out the meaning of his name.
David – David has been told by God’s servant, Samuel that he would be the next king. David is a warrior, having grown up as the youngest son in his family, he learned to care for the sheep and defend them against attacks by bears and lions.
Agigail – She is wise and beautiful, but has the sorrow of being married to foolish Nabal.

At the onset of this story, we can learn some valuable lessons:

First, God made you and fashioned you just as you are. He knew that David was a small, insignificant lad who could be a mighty warrior for Him. Even though he had been denied the privilege of being “measured” by Samuel to be the next king, God knew where he was and He knew what he was.
God knows where and what you are, too! He has equipped you to fulfill His will, as He did David. He will protect you and guide you so that will can come to fruition.

Second, we don’t have to plan or scheme to get revenge. God can and will handle the difficult people that need chastening.

Third, God is sovereignly at work, even when we cannot see that He is. We can trust Him to help us if we will wisely wait. This is clearly seen in both David and Abigail’s situations.

Lastly, we cannot control others’ actions and words, but we can control our own.

Our precious Savior is our supreme example in this kind of suffering. Remember that he was misunderstood, verbally abused, lied about, and then crucified for the sins WE have committed. I Peter 3 tells us ~

For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:

22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:

23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:

24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

Whoever it is that is irritating you today, remember to look at Christ’s example and suffer well. You don’t need to “let them have it.” There’s no benefit in trying to figure out a plan to get even. By the power of God, entrust the issue and the person to him. Quiet the anger by giving a soft answer that turns away wrath. (Proverbs 15:1) Watch God diffuse the situation and be glorified!

How would God have you to respond to the difficult person in your life so that you are following Christ’s example?