This sermon is part of the sermon series "Dealing with the Difficult Person". See series.
For the next few weeks, we're following the story of Saul and David in First Samuel. We discovered last week that he is one of these characters who are difficult for everybody else around him. Recall from last week that he made life absolutely miserable for David, who followed him as king. Saul was filled with bitter jealousy towards David. He attacked David twice. He hounded him for years so that David had to live on the run as a fugitive. On more than one occasion, David had the opportunity to take matters into his own hands, but he refused to do so. And when Saul died, David wept.
We described Saul last week as being a royal pain in the neck. Yet David was loyal to him for 15 years. So the question we're asking is simply this: "How did he do that?"
We're looking at this story for a very practical reason: Some of us have a "Saul" in our lives. There may be a Saul at your work. There may be a Saul in your home. Saul is a very interesting character. He's very self-confident, but he has terrible judgment. He's self-centered. He's easily threatened. He's temperamental, volatile, and unpredictable. He has very little idea of the pain that he causes to people around him. He lives in a plastic world of self-deception, insulated from everything else.
So we're trying to answer this practical question in our time together: "How do you deal with the difficult character—the person who makes life miserable for everybody else?" Even more, we remember that Jesus specifically said to his disciples, "You must love your enemies" (Matthew 5:44). The fact that he said this indicates that dealing with difficult people is a normal thing in the course of a Christian life. Some people will come across your path who will be challenging ...
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