"So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Romans 10:17

Dealing with Difficult People - Part 1

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on July 13, 2009

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"Dealing With Critical People"

Dealing with Difficult People - Part 1 Transcription

First let me say welcome to all the nice faces that I see, that I don't know. It's a pleasure to have you here at Saint Mark's. You are Coming on a day where we are starting a new little series but it's more like a mini series for the next couple of weeks, and the title of our series is “Dealing with difficult people”. The source of the series or the motivation for the series: if you look in the work of God, and you look into the commandments of God, what you will discover is [that] the majority; I would just kind of through out; I would go to %75, the majority of God's commandments that we should abide by deal with others, wither it's loving one another, forgiving one another, serving one another, been kind to one another, there is a lot of “one anothers'” in the bible, and a lot of us struggle in our spiritual life, our relationship with God because of these “one another's”, and we struggle because what we do is we say: this another is not worthy of whatever commandment was in front of it, so it said “love one another” and I look at this another and I say: it's difficult to love him, too difficult to forgive him, too difficult to serve him, to be kind to him or her, and we struggle in our relationship with God because of these “one another's”. So what are we going to do for the next couple of weeks is we are going to look at some different “one another's” , some different types of anothers, and see how can we deal with these difficult people. Today we are going to start off with every one favorite guy “the critical guy”, you guys all know the critical guy, right? Everyone knows at least one person who is way too critical, watch this short little video clip about someone's first day at the office and see about this critical guy. Video clip please.

How many would say by show of hands I know at least one person who is way too critical? Show of hands, hands are up allover the place. And how many would say: I know someone who is way too critical, and that person is close to me, either friend, family? Some hands went up real quick, some people actually pointing to the person next to them. Maybe I should stop asking questions right now before I start some marital issues. Look, we all deal with people who are way too critical, and there is nothing more annoying than the “know it all” guy, who is an expert in everything and he criticizes even that he knows nothing about nothing, I see clearly here in the church, Ok and it didn't take me very long to realize that when it comes to the church; every one wants something different, for example: we need the priests to visit us in our homes, all of us we need the priest to visit our homes, and our homes need blessing from the priest, the priest should be spending more time visiting. OK, we will do more visits. And the next week, abona I came to church and you were not in church! And I need you to be in church, and the priest should have more office hours to be in church. More office hours + More time visiting, I'll do my best. And then of the 10 sermons that we have to give every month, if one of them isn't well prepared with examples and this and that, Abona you need to spend more time preparing the sermons, so I should spend all of time visiting and spend all of my time in the church and spend all of my time preparing well prepared sermons.Can't please everyone! The moral of our message here today and I want everyone to leave with “I will be Criticized”. Can we say it together: I WILL BE CRITICIZED, it's a fact of life no matter what you do, as long as you do something in life, you will be criticized, often and frequently it's just part of life, it doesn't mean that you did any lower or worse or lacking in any way, Jesus perfect sinless and a lot of criticism, they criticized him for a lot of stuff, they didn't like what he said, they didn't like the way he said it, he did nice things for people, but they didn't like the way he did these nice things, he got criticized for healing people on the Sabbath day. Another person who got criticized a lot is Moses, Moses is a good guy, Moses got criticized for what? Moses was criticized by his own people for doing what? Freeing them from slavery, he freed them from slavery, he saved their life, and they criticized him. What does this teaches us about criticism? I will be criticized, every single person will be criticized in life. Praise and criticism, what we need to learn today is unlike the gentleman who is in the video, is how to deal with it in a proper way, we may want to deal with it as he dealt with it [Got back at the critic and hurt him], we need to learn how to deal with it in a proper way. Praise and criticism, something you need to learn here today are windows to the heart, and what that means is that when people either when they Praise us or criticize us, it teach us a lot about who they are in the inside. Ecclesiastes 7:5 “it is better to hear rebuke of the wise than for a man to hear the song [praise] of fools.” . The bottom line is that praise and criticism can teach us a lot about what people are like on the inside, agree with me? Very good. [A young woman walks on the stage]

Youth: Hi Abona

Abona: Hey Katy , how's it going, good to see you, welcome on stage

Youth: Hey, great shoes.

Abona: thank you very much, crocks, appreciate it

Youth: nice color too

Abona: thank you very much, appreciate it

You see Katy just praised and complemented my shoes, what do you think that means about the values in her life? Clothe are clearly important to Katy, praise reveal what we value most

[Another young woman walks on the stage]

Abona: Hi Samantha, how is it going?

Sam: Did you lose weight? You're looking fantastic

Abona: Thank you for noticing, actually I dropped a few pounds, thank you for noticing

Sam: keep it up

The fact that Samantha commented on my buff physique reveals that she places high value on physical fitness and appearances. Now criticism is the opposite, criticism reveals our deepest insecurities, and when a person criticizes you, most often it shows where they themselves are most insecure

[both young women walk back on the stage again]

Girl1: oh my God, Abona Anthony cares so much about his appearance

Girl2: and he thinks that he's in such good shape, I don't know why, because ever since he lost the championship last year his basketball skills have been dwindling

Girl1: and why he's always wearing black? So depressing, like he needs some style tips for sure, you want to have something to eat?

Girl2: oh no thanks, I'm on a no-carb veggan diet, so I can't really eat anything

Girl1: let's go to the mall instead, I guess that I have to go shopping, my mom says that I dress like a grandma

Give them a big hand, big hand.

Praise and criticism are windows to the heart, write this down, praise reveals what you value the most and criticism reveals your deepest insecurities. What they praised is what was important to them, what they criticized was what they themselves felt insecure about in their own lives. I see this so often, it's so easy to see because often times I get to see the inside to people that you don't see, because in front of everyone we all appear one way, and then you come inside Abona's office and the inside comes out , the person who's the most annoying, the person who's the most difficult to deal with, the most critical person is usually the most insecure and miserable person, and they suffer the most on the inside, and they just need someone else to pin it on. The guy who's walking around, the guy who walks into a bank and looks and sees “ah I think that guy is trying to rob the bank, I see him, I bet he's robbing the bank, I bet he's thinking about how he's robbing the bank”. You know why he is thinking that? Why is he thinking that? Because he himself is a robber, and that's what's on his mind, me and you no matter what we saw in a bank we don't see someone as a bank robber, hopefully, but a person who's always bank robbing sees everyone as “ah he's thinking this”, all this kind of stuff. Maybe the people who criticize the most struggle with that same thing the most, the one who thinks everyone else is always laying is usually a liar, maybe that's why our lord Jesus Christ told us in Mathew chapter 7 verse 4 “or how can you say to your brother, 'let me remove the speck from your eye'; and look, a blank is in your own eye?”. Usually the people who are most critical do so because they don't like themselves and they don't like who they are and by criticizing it deflects the attention off me. Now with that said, our question for today is how to deal with a critical person. We agree in the beginning everyone has difficult critical people in their life, and a lot of us maybe dealing with them in the wrong way, you maybe dealing with a critical parent, can't please the parent, nothing you do is good enough, specially if they're Egyptian , you get an A they want an A+, you get an A+ they want straight A+'s, you get into medical school they want you to get into medical school with a scholarship, nothing you can do to please certain parents, and some of you are struggling to try to please them, some are trying to please a critical spouse who no matter what you do is never good enough, and will never be satisfied. Some of you are trying to please a critical boss, some of you are unfortunately are have to deal with criticism even here in the church, it's unfortunate but sometimes we Christians are the worst ones and the most critical ones, and we do so here in the spiritual life and in the house in God. How to deal with criticism? I'm going to give you 2 wrong ways and 3 right ways, Ok? 2 wrong ways which is the natural reaction that we usually do when it comes to criticism is Fight or Flight, and it's very common that when we are criticized, unless we proactively make a decision to do otherwise, some people are natural born fighters and some people are natural born fighters. Let's start with the fighters, when you get hit natural reaction is hit back, now I think of myself as peaceful guy, I'm not a fighter, and I'm not a stressed out tensed in your face, like I'm not a high strong guy, but you can see that fight mechanism very clearly somehow in traffic, in traffic the nicest person (and we are all nice people) but when that guy cut me off oh man, now I got to catch up and cut him off as if that does anything in the grand sachem of life, but it's something inside us , I can't let him go to sleep tonight thinking that he cut me off, I got to stick it to him someway. How many times do you leave a conversation which may have been slightly confrontational and afterward you replay what you said and you think to yourself oh man I should've said this, or if I get another chance I'm going to say this, I remember one time when we were in collage we were talking, I lived in a house with 7 guys, so we discussed very deep matters, ok, we used to discuss if you can have any super power in the world what superpower would you have, and we debated this for the entire semester , ok, the easy one was fly, but we found a lot of bugs with the whole flying thing, ok, temperature, bugs in the teeth, stuff like that, it wasn't as practical as it may seem. I came up with this one and I stick by it as at least top 3 superpowers, that you would have the best comeback to whatever anyone says, that no matter what anyone says you have the best comeback, there a superpower for you. We like that because when someone hits we like to be able to jab right back. (up to minute16:12 )