Daily Devotion

November 3, 2023

How to deal with difficult people

“If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.” Mt 5:41 NIV


Jesus said, “If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.” Roman soldiers were permitted to force a Jew to carry a burden a mile for them. They treated Jews as tools to be used. However, in those days, a Roman soldier was likely to be very young, a stranger in the city, poor, and deeply resented by the locals. So, what would you do in that situation? Jesus invites you to take the high road. When you carry someone’s burden and finish the first mile, say, “You look tired. Can I help you some more? Can I carry your burden another mile?” Can you imagine doing that? But it’s what you’re called to do. Often when someone takes advantage of you, you want to think of them as unlikable instead of a real person with their own story. It’s said that a friend offered to introduce English essayist Charles Lamb to a man whom Lamb had disliked for a long time. “Don’t make me meet him,” Lamb said. “I want to go on hating him, and I can’t do that to a man I know.” Understand this: You can give the gift of empathy. You can remember that the person you don’t like is also a human being. You can put yourself in his place. You can take the time to imagine how he feels, what he has been through, and how life has treated him. When you do that, your problem becomes an opportunity to practice the Christ life. Isn’t that what you want? Isn’t that what you signed up for in the first place?