How to Rise Above the Fray
When Dealing with Ignorant Behavior
by J.M. Troppello
It’s not easy dealing with ignorant behavior. Sometimes you or I am the ones acting in ignorance. Other times, people are completely oblivious to their actions—or they know what they’re doing and don’t care how their behavior affects individuals.
“The ignorant mind, with its infinite afflictions, passions, and evils, is rooted in the three poisons. Greed, anger, and delusion.” - Bodhidharma
It’s getting more and more difficult to rise above the fray, especially in our world that is so divided. People are on one side or the other. There doesn’t seem to be a middle ground anymore. Yet, I still believe there are many people who have common sense and want to interact in a civil way in our society. The media would have you believe otherwise. They want you to keep watching the news, so they report all the negativity all the time.
If you want to rise above the fray when dealing with ignorant behavior, consider the following four things you can do when handling these difficult situations in a godly way.
1. Take a Step Back
The best thing to do is to take a step back. This is something I’ve learned in my 18 years of marriage. So many times, my husband and I acted ignorantly toward each other—especially in the beginning of our marriage. Little things that I did triggered him or vice versa. We had to learn how to communicate better, develop a higher emotional intelligence level, understand our love languages, and comprehend the different personalities.
I’ve referenced the following books in my other articles. It’s worth it to mention them again. They helped me so much in enriching my marriage and dealing with people in all other relationships.
The Five Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman
The DNA of Relationships by Dr. Gary Smalley
Deadly Emotions by Dr. Don Colbert
2. Diffuse the Situation
Respond maturely. Don’t react immaturely. Never add fuel to the fire of an argument by acting immaturely. I’m not preaching at you here. For the majority of my teens and twenties, I was a hothead. I had such a low emotional IQ level. I reacted immaturely and ignorantly so many times. Control your body language. Speak in calm tones. Try to listen more than you speak.
3. Walk in Love
Above all else, walk in love. Yes, I know that can be very difficult. I have not always walked in love. Other times I have. It’s only been by the power of the Holy Spirit working in me that I could walk in love.
That we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. (Ephesians 4:14-16, NKJV)
It's important to speak the truth. Do it in love. Yet make sure that you are being guided by the Holy Spirit. Never go into battle alone. That means that you should be prayed up. You need to be led by the Holy Spirit. It’s vital that you have the Word of God in your heart and coming out of your mouth.
4. Walk Away
Sometimes you can do all those three things and the situation escalates or the person doesn’t respond rationally. In those moments, you need to walk away. You can’t force someone to see the truth or to hear your rational thoughts. That’s when you need to leave the room or wherever you are and pray for this person and for God to redeem the situation.
Rise Above the Fray
There will always be people who act ignorantly. They may not be civil to you. Their rude behavior may make you mad. Maybe there are others in your life who constantly want to stir up trouble. It’s important to find that balance between setting boundaries in your life and walking in love and kindness toward others.
Remember the following four ways that you can rise above the fray when dealing with ignorant behavior.
Take a step back
Diffuse the situation
Walk in love
“A wise man makes his own decisions, an ignorant man follows the public opinion.” – Grantland Rice
Choose wisely. Follow God’s leading. Walk in compassion toward others. Ask God to be your guiding light as you interact with others and rise above the fray.
Article syndicated by Mustard Seed Sentinel on Medium.com.
About the Author
J.M. Troppello is an author, writer, and poet. She is the publisher of the online Christian lifestyle magazine, Mustard Seed Sentinel.
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