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Mean People

Even Is Easy

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We all have them – those people who seem determined to get under our skin. The coworker who takes credit for your work, the family member who pushes all your buttons, the neighbor with a constant stream of complaints.

They nag, criticize, control – and it’s nearly impossible not to react. But have you ever wondered if there’s a better way to deal with these “mean people” besides getting even or ignoring them?

What if there was a third option, one that actually increases your power in the relationship and protects your peace of mind? In today’s message, we’ll explore an alternative approach taught and modeled by Jesus himself. We’ll also examine a dramatic biblical story of a man named David who was itching for revenge – and the unexpected third way that emerged.

By the end, I believe you’ll walk away with a game-changing perspective on overcoming toxicity with kindness.

  • When we say “mean people” we mean those who are unpleasant, deceptive, controlling, or just unkind.
  • If we don’t have a plan for dealing with mean people, they can gain control over our lives and cause us to act in ways we wouldn’t normally.
  • Getting even with mean people makes us become like them. Ignoring them doesn’t work either.
  • Jesus provides a “third option” – to return good for evil and be kind even to those who mistreat us. This is uncomfortable but it frees us.
  • Four key questions are:
    1. Do you want to be even with someone you don’t even like?
    2. Wouldn’t you rather be ahead?
    3. When this is just a story you tell, what story do you want to tell?
    4. What would it look like to return good for evil?
  • The story of David and Nabal illustrates the dynamics of wanting to get even with those who mistreat us.
  • Jesus invites us not to get even, which is predictable, but to do something remarkable by being kind to those who are unkind. This allows us to “pull ahead” relationally.

The path of nonviolence is difficult, but it is the only way forward. When we respond to meanness with meanness, the cycle of hurt just continues – but good can break that cycle. By choosing to mete out blessings instead of insults, to sow forgiveness rather than resentment, we take back our power and write a story of which we can be proud. More than that, we become the agents of peace we wish to see in the world.

Will you commit to walking this higher road, no matter the cost? Will you trust that goodness overcomes evil if we stand firm in love? I pray this message inspires you to protect your heart by protecting others’. And may the remarkable start today.


Matthew 5:44

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