Dealing with People

The Latest Word from John Ed Mathison

I recently heard a minister say, “Being a pastor of a church would be easy if you didn’t have to deal with people.”  I also heard a business person say, “I really enjoy owning my own business, but most of my problems are dealing with people.”

I have read recently of some very interesting ways in which people deal with each other.  In November of 2015 a Scottish traveler boarded a plane to Dublin.  When he began to look for his seat on the plane, he discovered a guy sitting in his seat.  Neil Douglas was shocked when he told the stranger, Robert Stirling, that he was in the wrong seat.  When the man looked up, he looked exactly like Neil Douglas.  He had a similar haircut, a bushy red beard, and he would pass as a twin.

The pair laughed about it and had a good conversation about their situation.  They got off the plane and went their separate ways.  Would you believe that when Douglas arrived at his Galway hotel, he discovered that Robert was staying at the same hotel?  They are still discussing how that connection was made.

Amy Giberson and Justin Pounders met online.  This Florida couple started dating and after a year they realized that they had been sweethearts 30 years earlier.  In a conversation Pounders said that he had a crush on a girl named Amy at Sunshine Preschool in St. Petersburg.  Giberson said that she attended the same school.  When they checked with their moms, they discovered that they were in the same class and had been inseparable as three-year-olds.

This discovery was made in November 2015.  I don’t know how far it will go.  Giberson did say, “To find out that you’ve been circling each other your whole life – it overwhelmed me with happiness.”  They still are trying to understand how all of this happened.

Some creative people try to help put people together.  In Brooklyn, New York, Nina Keneally decided that a lot of Millennials needed someone to whom they could relate as a mom.  She has developed a business call “Rent-a-mom.”  For $40 an hour Nina will cook meals, go shopping, and offer guilt-free motherly advice.  She says, “Everybody needs a mom now and then.”

One of the problems in relationships occurs when people break up.  Some folks have a difficult time facing that situation, especially in telling the other person about the breakup.  Enter a Canadian company that has launched “The Breakup Shop,” which is a service that helps people end romantic relationships by sending a personalized text or making a phone call to the soon-to-be ex.  You pay $10 for the text and $29 for the phone call.

People have wondered how the Breakup Shop might begin using a smartphone app.  Some have suggested that such an app could be called “Instascram,” or “Quitter” or “Return to Tinder.”  One tap of the app and the relationship is ended.

People bring challenges – but they also bring opportunities.  The best way to relate to people is to remember the words of Jesus, “Love God with all of your heart, mind, soul, and strength, and then love your neighbor as yourself (Matt. 22:37-39).

Deal with at people as possibilities, not as problems.  Practice looking at people as Jesus looked at people.  It will make church, business, family, sports – all of life more interesting.

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