Monday, October 24, 2011

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There's a mountain in northern New Jersey that has the most intriguing view in the area I think. It's called Garret Mountain; it's right over the city of Paterson, New Jersey. Patterson happened to be at least when we lived near there, the fourth poorest, middle-sized city in America. Now, if you just drove around Paterson—that's all you saw—you would think that that whole area of north Jersey is poor. But just beyond Paterson on the horizon, you can see Bergen County, New Jersey—some of the bedroom communities of New York City—some of the wealthiest communities in America.

Now, if you just drove around some of those towns, you'd think this whole area is rich. If all you saw was Paterson, you'd say, "Boy, there's no countryside around here, is there?" If all you saw was Bergen County, you'd say, "There's no city here, is there?" See, I like Garret Mountain, because it gives me a bigger view than I can get when I'm right in the middle of things. Oh, you might need a mountain like that right now.

I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "How to Handle Frustrating People."

Our word for today from the Word of God comes from 1 Samuel 8:4-10. "All the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel. They said to him, 'You're old and your sons don't walk in your ways; now appoint a king to lead us such as all the other nations have.' But when they said, 'Give us a king to lead us' this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the Lord. And the Lord told him: 'Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they've rejected, they have rejected Me as their king. As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking Me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you. Now, listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will do.' Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking him for a king."

Okay, Samuel has a very frustrating situation here. All of a sudden, the structure of the judge ruling Israel on God's behalf is coming unglued. He's being very unappreciated by the people that he has given so much for. Does that sound familiar to anybody? These people are off on a total tangent that He knows is wrong. They're trying to get a king, when all they really need is God ruling through the judges. Now, maybe you've got some frustrating people in your life? You know how Samuel felt.

Do you notice what he did when the people frustrated him? It says, "So, he prayed to the Lord." The people...what they did displeased Samuel, "So he prayed to the Lord." Doesn't say he told them off—didn't blow up. Doesn't say they displeased him and he gave up or pouted. He takes the people and his feelings straight to the Lord when he's frustrated. Do you?

See, it has two good results when you do that. First, the Lord gives Samuel the big picture. He says, "This isn't against you. It's not personal. It's nothing new. It's part of a pattern." And he defuses the emotions. It's kind of like me on that mountain overlooking both the suburbs and the city in our area. You can see the whole picture when you take the frustration to the Lord. You can see where things are coming from; you can see where things are going. You're above that limited view you have when you're right in the middle of it.

When you take the frustrating people to the Lord, He gives you the big picture instead of you just reacting to an incident. Secondly, He gives you a balanced response. He told Samuel to listen to them and then warn them. See, listening to frustrating people gives you credibility. They'll listen to you if you've listened to them. Then warning them fulfills your responsibility to tell them the results of the way they're going. See, some people listen without warning people. Some people warn people without listening to them.

When people's actions displease you, frustrate you and hurt you, would you go to the Lord first? You know what He'll do? He'll take you up on a mountain where you can see the whole picture, and He'll help you respond in a balanced way. When people frustrate you, well, go over their head. Go straight to the Throne Room of the King.

            

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Ron Hutchcraft Ministries
P.O. Box 400
Harrison, AR 72602-0400

(870) 741-3300
(877) 741-1200 (toll-free)
(870) 741-3400 (fax)

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