Skip to the main content.
Free Holy Land Webinar!
Free Holy Land Webinar!

2 min read

How to Deal with Jerks in Your Life

Featured Image

I’m always amazed how some couples have no problem fighting in public. Once I stood in the popcorn line at the movies and the couple in front of me were arguing. In this case, the man was way out of line.

I wanted to take his popcorn, soft drink, and hot cheesy nachos and dump them down his pants.

How to Deal with the Jerks in Your Life

(Photo: by Robert Byron, via Vivozoom)

Some people are, well, just flat unlovable. On good days we call them “jerks.” On bad days we’re tempted to cross the line and be jerks right back at them.

It’s for those days the Scriptures urge us:

Do not repay anyone evil for evil. . . . If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath. —Romans 12:17–19

Sometimes this command seems impossible with jerks. And honestly?

It is.

Only with God’s help can you deal with the jerks in your life.

It Begins with Attitude

Remember when Mike Tyson bit off part of Evander Holyfield’s ear during a heavyweight fight? Holyfield later said:

Attitude is what causes us to fail. If you can control your emotions, you can control a lot of things. —Evander Holyfield

Attitude. What attitude should you adopt when someone is a complete jerk?

Some people, it seems, refuse to be peaceful. That’s why Paul qualified his command: “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”

Notice that while you can’t control their actions, you CAN control yours: “as far as it depends on you.” Your input into the exchange should be peaceable, regardless of theirs.

But how?

We may never change the jerks in our lives. But neither do they have to change us. (Tweet that.)

Responding Versus Reacting

Let’s turn the tables for a moment.

When YOU are a jerk to your spouse or to a close friend, they have two possible reactions:

  1. If he or she snaps back and reacts in retaliation, you feel justified in your rudeness. After all, they (now) “deserve” it.
  2. But if he or she responds with control, kindness, and gentleness, then God has “room” to convict your conscience.

Turn the tables back around and apply this personally.

  • Think about the last time you reacted like a jerk. What could you have done differently?
  • Before the next “episode” occurs with the habitual jerks in your life, choose ahead of time how you will respond with kindness.

Am I not destroying my enemies by making them my friends? —Abraham Lincoln

Consider One Final Example

The attitude God had toward us was to woo us to His side through grace (Romans 5:8). He still does, in fact:

Do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance? —Romans 2:4

It was goodness that overcame evil for our souls. Such can do the same in our relationships, God willing.

In the end, we may never change the jerks in our lives. But neither do they have to change us.

Discover How The Holy Land Connects To Your Life

Learn the top 6 Lessons from Visiting the Holy Land more than 20 times in 21 years with Dr. Wayne Stiles, a longtime devotional scholar who is passionate about sharing the practical application of bringing God's Word to life.

Free Webinar

Tell me what you think: What helps you respond well to jerks? To leave a comment, just click here.

Click here to leave a comment.

Jesus in Egypt

Cairo: Jesus in Egypt & God's Unusual Leaning

God seldom gives us all we need to understand, but He always gives us what we need in order to obey. The story of Jesus in Egypt as a boy offers a...

Read More
The Appian Way

How You Walk on the Appian Way Each Day

Roads are often built for one reason, but God uses them in our lives for another altogether. The Appian Way in Rome proved this so in the life of the...

Read More
Gardens in the Bible

2 Biblical Gardens in the Bible Reveal How to Make the Best Decisions

Two gardens in the Bible, Eden and Gethsemane, provided the settings for two choices that brought opposite results. The Bible wildly contrasts these...

Read More