Crazy can mean a variety of things today. To the millennials it can actually have a “positive meaning.” If someone or something is “cra – cra” it actually means “good,” but the crazy I am going to write about and the title I am ripping off from Rick Warren is “crazy maker.” People who bring frustration and stress into your life. The kind of people you want to avoid but maybe you can’t. It could be a family member, a boss, a coach, a teacher, a next door neighbor. We all need to know how to treat, live near, and at times avoid the “crazy makers!”
There are six kinds of crazy makers we all can experience. As you read this you might even identify an area in your life where you may be guilty of demonstrating “crazy”. As I have studied these I can honestly say there are times in my life…I have acted crazy…my goal is to respond like Scripture commands and be mature spiritually. I have been seeking to be more like Jesus in every way.
The following is a list of “crazy makers”:
1) Demanding–being a little dictator; a “Saddam,” controlling, dominating.
2) Disapproving–a knit picker, negative, a perfectionist.
3) Deafening–loud, mouthy, megaphone, very opinionated.
4) Destructive–an angry volcano; bad, flaring temper; cause people to walk on egg shells. You never know when they might erupt.
5) Discontented–cry babies, daily pity partiers, chronic complainers, fault finders.
6) Demeaning–smart-mouthed, rude, insulting, bubble bursters. Sometimes they are cruel in the name of making fun. Their body language toward others can be “passive aggressive” meanness!
If we are all very honest with ourselves, at one time or another, we all can put our name under at least one of these “D’s”. Who wants to be noted as any of these “D’s”? I know I don’t. There is hope. We can pray as David did in Psalm 139:24, “See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Yes, with God we can change. He can show us our unclean ways and through the power of the Holy Spirit we can change. We all have “blind spots” that God will gladly show us if we ask!
Today though, let’s consider what the Bible teaches us if we have a “crazy maker” in our lives. Someone who is one or two or all of the “D’s” and how we are to respond as Christians. I will just warn you– this is going to be a long post…but a helpful one if you truly want to learn how to deal with the crazy makers in your life. We all have them and obeying Scripture can give you HOPE and FREEDOM and PEACE. So here goes…
1. Refuse to be offended. Ask God to give you a “tough skin” and a “tender heart”. When people are one of the “D’s,” it reveals who they are, not you! Look past the behavior to the pain. Hurting people hurt people. It doesn’t make it right but it helps you to understand the “why”. Proverbs 19:11, “A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.” Refuse to hate. Proverbs 10:12, “Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.” Consider the “source!” Wise people look behind the behavior.
2. Don’t wait for an apology before you forgive the “crazy maker”. With a crazy maker an apology may never come. They are so wrapped up in their own stuff. Unforgiveness breeds resentment. It is like drinking poison yourself but waiting on the other person to die. Forgiveness is a choice and sometimes you have to do it over and over again. Colossians 3:13, “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” I love Jesus’ ultimate example on the cross found in Luke 23:34, “‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.'”
3. Refuse to gossip about them! This is a hard one and has been challenging for me. I am continually seeking “victory” from the Lord here. I am a work in progress but praise God, I am making progress. Realizing sharing with someone who is not a part of the problem is a form of retaliation is a first step. There are times when sharing with someone who can help is appropriate but it needs to be directed by God and bathed in prayer. Remain silent and take it to the LORD first rather than picking up the phone. Proverbs 17:9, “Whoever would foster love covers over an offense, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.”
I love this verse…1 Peter 3:9, “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, on the contrary repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.” When you seek to obey God, YOU will inherit blessings. Refusing to repay evil for evil allows God to do His best work in us and we are expressing our TRUST in God to deal with the offender! 1 Peter 3:12, “For the eyes of the LORD are on the righteous and his ears are ATTENTIVE to their prayers” [emphasis added]. Learning to “drop my hands” to the offenders has brought so many blessings to me personally and I have especially SEEN GOD and HIS MIGHTY hand. There are rewards for returning blessings for insults.
Obeying and living God’s word NEVER returns void…but you have to also TRUST His timing.
4. Refuse to play the “offender’s game”! If you have a crazy maker in your life, it is very mature of you to realize that you may not be able to “reason with them”. They live on the “irrational” side of the highway. I learned a long time ago that there are two sides to the highway of life…separated by a double yellow line–the “rational” side and the “irrational” side. DO NOT cross the double yellow line! Proverbs 10:8, “The wise in heart accept commands, but a chattering fool comes to ruin.” Eventually people “bring their own rope to the hanging.” Proverbs 10:9, “Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out.”
5. Refuse to cave in! Love does not mean giving into the “manipulation” of others. When offended.. forgiveness must be instant…but trust has to be “earned” back when you have been offended. Being meek doesn’t mean weak. Meek is STRENGTH under control…for the Lord’s use. Proverbs 4:23, “Above all else guard your heart, everything you do flows from it.” We should not allow people to walk all over us and continually repeat offenses, ask for forgiveness but then continuing to repeat the offense. God has to be first in our lives…not people! If everyone didn’t like Jesus, who was a perfect, sinless man…everyone certainly isn’t going to like me/you..! Understand…You are accountable for your actions and reactions..not the actions of others!
Romans 14:16, “Therefore DO NOT LET what you know is good be spoken of as evil” [emphasis added]. YOU can stand up for good. You do not have to back down…but you must do it with a gentle spirit. Jesus was a great example of standing up to the “manipulators,” the Pharisees. Matthew 15:13, “He replied, ‘Every plant that my Heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. Leave them; they are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.” Be very careful not to give into the “BLIND”. You have a say!
6. Always take the high ground! Proverbs 16:7, “When the Lord takes pleasure in anyone’s way, He causes their enemies to make peace with them.” Trust this verse and trust the Lord. WE are responsible and accountable to a HOLY GOD for every shot we take in life. He will forgive. HE will restore and He will deal with the offenders.
Scripture is very clear on how to deal with the “crazy makers” in our lives.
It is also clear on HOW NOT TO BE ONE!
There is peaceful and abundant living when seeking to live God’s Word. It is truly “sharper than any double-edged sword”. Make sure God is FIRST in your life…and allow HIS Word…to be your SWORD. Pick up that sword today. It brings a PEACE that passes all understanding.