Proverbs 29:22

A man of wrath stirs up strife,
and one given to anger causes much transgression.

Wrathful people are difficult people. They “stir up strife.” They cause trouble for us and others. They bully, act aggressively critical, and puff themselves up. Their behavior is the result of choices, and they choose to live with unhealthy choices. Difficult people go past the limits of decent behavior and actually “trespass” on our emotional and personal boundaries.

When our boundaries are not respected we need to state clearly what the consequences will be–and even more importantly–follow through with them. Difficult people don’t like it when we challenge their desire for control; they may become angry and verbally abusive. But that doesn’t mean we should indulge them just because they hate limits. We shouldn’t avoid telling them the truth because they might not like it. Jesus says in Luke 6:27, we should “do good to those who hate us,” but that does not mean we should do everything they want.

Remember, a boundary is a fence meant to keep out certain intruders. Fences have gates and gates have locks. If we don’t close and lock the gate, we invite people to trespass and cause more strife.

© 2020 Tenth Presbyterian Church.

Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in its entirety or in unaltered excerpts, as long as you do not charge a fee. For Internet posting, please use only unaltered excerpts (not the content in its entirety) and provide a hyperlink to this page. Any exceptions to the above must be approved by Tenth Presbyterian Church.

Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By David Apple. © 2020 Tenth Presbyterian Church. Website: tenth.org