It happens. In fact, it might have happened for you this past weekend. The people of God can be problematic at times, and we get frustrated with each other. Here are some options when that’s your situation:
- Honestly evaluate whether you’re part of the problem. We often are, but we’re unwilling to take responsibility. Sometimes we need others who love us much to help us see ourselves properly.
- Seek to determine if you’re reading the situation properly. In some cases, we get frustrated over a situation we’re simply misreading. We then unnecessarily respond in the wrong way—evidenced by our frustration. Be careful about assuming motive behind any act.
- Pray for the problematic person/people. And, I don’t mean some kind of imprecatory prayer that God might “get them.” Something just happens in our own heart when we pray for others who bother us.
- Recognize that if you’re a church leader, you’ve probably inherited somebody else’s mess. Every church has its own issues, and every leader must deal with past, present, and future tense stuff. Some of the folks who frustrate you have frustrated others, too—so leading them to change will likely take time. Be patient.
- Understand that some church members have never been discipled. They may even be in leadership positions, but that doesn’t mean they’ve grown much in Christ. They may actually still be babes in Christ—which helps explain their actions.
- Have an honest conversation with the person. It’s almost impossible to deal with issues if we never talk together. Schedule a time to talk, and prayerfully and lovingly share your concerns. You might be surprised that some folks welcome honest critique to help them grow.
- Approach this conversation with question marks rather than exclamation points. That is, seek dialogue before you make accusations. You might learn something that helps you better understand the other person. You might even realize you were just wrong (see #2 above).
- Decide up front not to let your frustration become controlling to you. That’s what happens when we let frustration eat at us. We never give it up, and we then make it an idol in our lives.
- Don’t be a frustration to others. I know we don’t always recognize when we’re the frustrating ones. We’re much less likely, though, to be a frustration when we strive to follow Christ with all our heart, mind, soul, and body.
What would you add to this list?