When Difficult People Interrupt the Peace

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Most of us desire a life of peace and tranquility. Yet, as we diligently work to pursue that goal, we will encounter a few “interrupters” who are quick to find fault, take issue, push back, stir the pot, and ruffle feathers. When our paths cross, tension mounts as our patience is tried and our plans for peace are tested.

I think it’s safe to say that Isaac encountered a good number of “interrupters” at Gerar. In their envy, they not only made life unbearable by filling his wells with dirt, but the king actually ordered him to leave the country, too. Under these challenging circumstances, Isaac moved his family, his flocks, and all his belongings to a new location to provide for their needs.

You would think that would have put an end to the conflict, but Isaac’s troubles had just begun: Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and discovered a well of fresh water there.  But the herders of Gerar quarreled with those of Isaac and said, ‘“The water is ours!”’ So he named the well Esek, because they disputed with him. Then they dug another well, but they quarreled over that one also; so he named it Sitnah. He moved on from there and dug another well, and no one quarreled over it. He named it Rehoboth, saying, ‘“Now the Lord has given us room and we will flourish in the land,”’ (Genesis 26:19-22, NIV).

When someone interrupts our peace, often our first impulse is to respond in kind. Yet, when Isaac encountered such adversity, he didn’t demand his rights. He laid them down. Although this came at a great personal price, God honored his quiet perseverance. In the end, Abimilech (king of Gerar) recognized the blessings of God on Isaac, and together they forged an agreement to live at peace with one another (Genesis 26:26-31).

Final thoughts…

When difficult people interrupt the peace in our lives, we have a choice to make. While some grievances simply cannot be overlooked and elicit a need for an honest, loving response, there are other times when the better option is to look past an offense, take the hit, absorb the loss, and choose to move past the injury.

While it’s not always easy to discern which offenses merit justice and which ones call for mercy, as we seek the Father’s heart and then examine our own, He can empower us to make the kind of choices that are a clear testimony of His goodness and grace at work in our lives. Dealing with difficult people? Peace is possible. Walk the path.


Dale Pyne – CEO, Peacemaker Ministries

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2 thoughts on “When Difficult People Interrupt the Peace

  1. Very good article.. I always leave it to God and love and forgive that person and pray for them.. It’s best to remain quiet and not argue.. Thanks for this article..

  2. My husband and I were told last Sept 7th (my 74th birthday) that our youngest daughter (43) no longer wanted us in her life. The reasons she gave were juvenile offenses – i criticized someone who is a wonderful person according to her and the woman is lovely but… (we have a special needs daughter. I called, left messages so this mother would get back to me so our daughter and her daughter could plan to do something fun together. She never got back to me. I was thinking of the girls). That’s one and it reflects the depth of the complaints given. Our son in law is said to be the one behind this. He has also removed her dearest friend from her life. It appears he is isolating her from her family, her friend, her sister. We fear for our daughter. We have no contact – i send cards with notes. We’ve asked for forgiveness for whatever we did; we’ve asked to make amends. We lost our only granddaughter w/this estrangement. We would do anything – humble ourselves to hear what we’ve done that has caused this total abandonment. My husband is 76 – he is devastated and shattered as I am. What can we do? We would gladly meet for counseling or sit across the table with a mediator. Her husband lied about what was said but, of course, she believed him. We’ve always treated our son in law better than his own family so we do not understand. I’ve contacted their pastor to be a peacemaker. He ignores me. Now perhaps he is trying and I pray he is. This has diminished our lives. 1/2 our heart is missing. We’ve loved and been devoted to both daughters – to our granddaughter. She was the delight of our lives. So now, every morning I pray for God to give me strength to get out of bed. To try to put a smile on my face and I try to thank God for this because I know He has a plan. We need reconciliation. We have a fair amount of money and I would spend it all to work with our daughter towards healing. They live in Utah – we lived in Montana for most of our lives but then moved to Utah when all this took place. We’ve since moved to Minnesota to be closer to our many relatives who are good and wonderful people. We are country people and we moved to a city area – my husband was going nuts – the traffic horrendous. The people for the most part, untouchable (unless you’re Mormon.) We had 10 acres w/log and rock house in MT. We never sh/have moved of course but we did. Our special needs daughter lives with us – her sister rarely keeps in touch. There has to be someway we can begin the healing. This does not glorify God. Can you help?

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