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Author Topic: Christ says love your 'enemy.' My question is, how?  (Read 1624 times) Average Rating: 0
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Faith2545
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« on: September 14, 2013, 06:05:12 PM »

I work for a small family business. I'm a pleasant person with hardly any enemies (that I know of), but I suppose this doesn't hold true when it comes to my customers. I can't deal with this anymore. I have very rude, egotistic, self-righteous, manipulative clients I must service on a daily basis. This is not a restaurant - it's a retail/service business.

I cant take these attitudes. Probably the biggest thing that bothers me is when they either hang up on me in mid-conversation or when my professional opinion is undermined by male chauvinist. Both occurred today and I'm still enraged.

I dwell on it, re-think everything repeatedly in my head, I think about what I could have said or should have said, my body tenses, I actually feel pains in my back and left arm....I cant let it go.

The truth is - I'm not a person who yells or talks back. I think the harshest thing I've ever called a person to his face is 'dumb idiot.' I don't curse, I can't defend myself in a way, I resort to 'intellectual' means of responding but they talk over me with foul language. I then just take it in and repetitively rethink the whole thing (or once cried in the bathroom.)

But why do I let them bother me? I cant talk back. How do I deal with this? When they guy hung up on me, I dialed his number to say don't you ever call back here expecting any service and hang up on me, but I got as far as calling his area code and hung up. Especially today, a feast day, I feel so guilty thinking so badly about these people who upset me....how do I deal with this?
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« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2013, 06:19:02 PM »

Variously I have heard all sorts of comments in relation to this injunction.

Those that stuck in my mind include the advice that it is as important to love the people you most disagree with, dislike or for some reason find downright unattractive. Still struggled with that but a hieromonk told that injunction is to love, not like my neighbour. With a bit of intellectual wrestling that seemed to make the challenge somewhat more workable.

The same hieromonk told me of his experience when inviting the neighbours around. One very friendly women brought her husband who behaved provocatively from the point he stepped over the threshold, using foul language, telling dirty jokes and forced breaking of wind, etc. He simply didn't react. Eventually the man quieted down. It was a very embarrassed wife that later apologised.

« Last Edit: September 14, 2013, 06:25:43 PM by Santagranddad » Logged
Faith2545
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« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2013, 06:25:14 PM »

Variously I have heard all sorts of comments in relation to this injunction.

Those that stuck in my mind include the advice that it is as important to love the people you most disagree with, dislike or for some reason find downright unattractive. Still struggled with that but a hieromonk told that injunction is to love, not like my neighbour. With a bit of intellectual wrestling that seemed to make the challenge somewhat more workable.

I wholeheartedly agree without a doubt. My question is, how?
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« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2013, 06:32:19 PM »

You have to swallow that temptation to react, and in my case try and think how many times have I behaved badly, all the time praying and both deepening and slowing my breathing. Nothing like a load of adrenaline pumping around your system to trigger an unhelpful response.

Some folks think behaving badly towards others raises their status, or they muddle evoking fear with gaining respect.
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« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2013, 06:38:48 PM »

You have to swallow that temptation to react, and in my case try and think how many times have I behaved badly, all the time praying and both deepening and slowing my breathing. Nothing like a load of adrenaline pumping around your system to trigger an unhelpful response.

Some folks think behaving badly towards others raises their status, or they muddle evoking fear with gaining respect.

Very true, thanks for that. I try to ignore it the second it re-enters my mind. I guess what is making it tempting to re-think the situation(s) is that in your mind, you get to 'respond' or 'react' as you wish and take control of the situation. However, reminding myself of my sins is such a good perspective regarding such instances.
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« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2013, 07:10:18 PM »

"If one brings to mind someone who has caused him upset, ridiculed him, or has in any way caused evil he should think of him as a physician and from the depths of his heart thank him for these things. If, however, he entertains in his mind thoughts against such a person, then he is giving thought, like the demons, to something contrary to his soul."

Abba Zosimas

Taken from The Shepherd, September, 2013
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« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2013, 07:18:11 PM »

What always helps me is to remember some of the horrible things I have done in the past.  I remind myself that we are all sick to some degree with sin and that the Church is a hospital for our healing.  The worst people are those who are the most sick and they need our prayers.
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« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2013, 08:42:23 AM »

Hard it may be ehard but think that I deserve people being so rude to me for everything i have done to God.
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« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2013, 04:40:30 PM »

Chapter 7 / page 54 is useful http://www.stmaryscopticorthodox.ca/content/books/spirituality.pdf
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« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2013, 04:48:39 PM »

I suggest a short prayer such as the Jesus prayer, And I also have success saying God bless you after you hang up.

My laptop computer was stolen when I left it for a minute to go to the bathroom, and that night after reporting it to the police , I said a prayer forgiving the person who did it.
The next day the office called me and said they found it thrown in the bushes. I truly felt blessed , and gave God all the credit for getting it back.

Forgiving is the only thing we can do.The rest is up yo God.

Also thinking of Jesus dying and saying "Forgive them for they know not what they do". Because the truth is I feel sorry for those people even when they hurt me because they truly do not understand .
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« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2013, 05:20:31 PM »


yes, this is brilliant, read at least pages 54 - 58.
i used to wonder if this type of spiritual exercises were practiced outside of the desert, but having seen an orthodox priest advise someone in a similar situation to pray for her boss and having seen the effects of the prayer for the evil boss bringing great peace, i can say that this advice really works!
(i didn't say it was easy, just that it works...)
 Wink

also there are some other great posts in this thread
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« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2013, 06:14:02 PM »


Thank you for this. I will print it out. Could you please give a little background on this book?
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« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2013, 06:20:21 PM »

Thanks to all who keep posting. I feel very relieved for asking for your help and I received with two hands. Thank you.

I will put into practice what you all have told me. I mean, it really has come to the point where, physically, I feel sick and in pain thinking i'll suffer a heart attack or something, due to my emotional suppression and constant dwelling on the subject as soon as it happens. 
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« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2013, 06:47:25 PM »


Thanks Jonathan, that is a really good book!  There are a lot of other good-looking ebooks and articles on the main website as well.
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« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2013, 03:09:52 AM »

Well, I can only offer my humble opinion, which may be a bit different from what others might say. But I don't think that you have any obligation to subject yourself to such abuse. If you run the business, then you have control over who you provide service to. It is better to jettison disrespectful clients and cultivate a clientele that you can work with reasonably and respectfully. You may lose some customers at first, but you will gain customers in the long run. And if you are working for someone else, then they should value you enough to protect you from such abuse. A good restaurant manager, for example, will defend his staff from profane and abusive diners. Putting up with rudeness is part of business, but there is no excuse for people to curse you and treat you with utter disrespect. If your boss doesn't have your back in this area, then he's not worth working for. Respectfully but firmly tell your boss that you are a Christian and that you feel violated by people that curse and abuse you. Tell him that you are willing to put up with rude customers, but that you are not willing to put up with extreme abuse and disrespect. If he can't respect that, then it might be time to find other employment. I understand that we are supposed to be like Christ and suffer abuse patiently. God can certainly teach us a lot through such trials. However, you are not in a monastery. You are trying to make a living, and this treatment is affecting your spiritual and emotional (and possibly physical) health. Perhaps you feel forced to deal with this because you can't afford to lose your job. Sadly, many people take advantage of situations like that. But you may have to choose between losing your job or losing your sanity and health. And you don't want to be pushed to the breaking point where you explode and lash out in an unchristian manner. My philosophy is that if others don't treat you respectfully, then there's no sense in continuing to deal with them. And that applies to all areas of life. Life is just to short to allow yourself to be poisoned by other people's negativity.


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« Reply #15 on: September 16, 2013, 09:37:41 AM »

In the business I am in, almost all my calls are dealing with people who are mad at me. I handle litigation personal injury claims and lawsuits bring out the worst in everyone.  I find it is best to find humor in the situation and laugh it off once I am off the phone with them.  I've doing doing this for quite a few years now, and I will admit that it took awhile to get used to it, but as with anything, practice makes perfect.
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« Reply #16 on: September 16, 2013, 05:20:48 PM »

Yeah tough one. As others said, I find it helps a lot to keep thinking of myself as a sinner. When someone insults me, rightly or wrongly, I feel upset because deep down I think I'm someone who deserves respect. But that only makes sense if I'm perfect. As it is, I'm a sinner, so really I don't deserve good treatment. But getting into that habit of mind is hard and takes a lot of practice.

Complete trust in God is also an important part of this. Although I am a sinner, I know that God loves me unconditionally, no matter what I do. And as long as God the Almighty loves me and cares for me, what do I care if some other guy doesn't like me? Again, easy to say this, but hard to put into daily practice.
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« Reply #17 on: September 16, 2013, 05:40:22 PM »

Thanks again for the advice. I'm trying to keep it in mind and take it to heart. Actually I work with Greek Orthodox people and we all believe in the same thing and support each other. I am very free and allowed to speak however I want to these people, and honestly, I think it's only 10 percent of the clientele. These people are probably prone to evil by nature or so sinful that they choose to not acknowledge the right and just want to have their way. it's a fast-paced environment and people just want to please themselves and have it their way. It's not every day problem, but when it happens, for me the effects last for days or so it feels.
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« Reply #18 on: September 16, 2013, 05:53:48 PM »

Make enemies with lovable people.
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« Reply #19 on: September 16, 2013, 05:56:38 PM »

I work for a small family business. I'm a pleasant person with hardly any enemies (that I know of), but I suppose this doesn't hold true when it comes to my customers. I can't deal with this anymore. I have very rude, egotistic, self-righteous, manipulative clients I must service on a daily basis. This is not a restaurant - it's a retail/service business.

I cant take these attitudes. Probably the biggest thing that bothers me is when they either hang up on me in mid-conversation or when my professional opinion is undermined by male chauvinist. Both occurred today and I'm still enraged.

I dwell on it, re-think everything repeatedly in my head, I think about what I could have said or should have said, my body tenses, I actually feel pains in my back and left arm....I cant let it go.

The truth is - I'm not a person who yells or talks back. I think the harshest thing I've ever called a person to his face is 'dumb idiot.' I don't curse, I can't defend myself in a way, I resort to 'intellectual' means of responding but they talk over me with foul language. I then just take it in and repetitively rethink the whole thing (or once cried in the bathroom.)

But why do I let them bother me? I cant talk back. How do I deal with this? When they guy hung up on me, I dialed his number to say don't you ever call back here expecting any service and hang up on me, but I got as far as calling his area code and hung up. Especially today, a feast day, I feel so guilty thinking so badly about these people who upset me....how do I deal with this?

People without enemies are boring.

Recently, I opened someone's car door to explain some traffic rules to them. Calling someone to explain to them phone etiquette is similar and entirely acceptable and to be lauded.
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« Reply #20 on: September 16, 2013, 05:57:38 PM »

Make enemies with lovable people.
I know such frivolity is discouraged in the faith issues section, but I let out a loud guffaw at this.  laugh
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« Reply #21 on: September 16, 2013, 07:07:39 PM »

I work for a small family business. I'm a pleasant person with hardly any enemies (that I know of), but I suppose this doesn't hold true when it comes to my customers. I can't deal with this anymore. I have very rude, egotistic, self-righteous, manipulative clients I must service on a daily basis. This is not a restaurant - it's a retail/service business.

I cant take these attitudes. Probably the biggest thing that bothers me is when they either hang up on me in mid-conversation or when my professional opinion is undermined by male chauvinist. Both occurred today and I'm still enraged.

I dwell on it, re-think everything repeatedly in my head, I think about what I could have said or should have said, my body tenses, I actually feel pains in my back and left arm....I cant let it go.

The truth is - I'm not a person who yells or talks back. I think the harshest thing I've ever called a person to his face is 'dumb idiot.' I don't curse, I can't defend myself in a way, I resort to 'intellectual' means of responding but they talk over me with foul language. I then just take it in and repetitively rethink the whole thing (or once cried in the bathroom.)

But why do I let them bother me? I cant talk back. How do I deal with this? When they guy hung up on me, I dialed his number to say don't you ever call back here expecting any service and hang up on me, but I got as far as calling his area code and hung up. Especially today, a feast day, I feel so guilty thinking so badly about these people who upset me....how do I deal with this?

People without enemies are boring.

Recently, I opened someone's car door to explain some traffic rules to them. Calling someone to explain to them phone etiquette is similar and entirely acceptable and to be lauded.

I'll add that I work in New York....so do you now 'understand' what kind of people I deal with ?? Tongue  Needless to say, should I have had the guts to remain on the line and had given him a piece of my mind, I don't doubt he would have hung up on me again before given me a few choice words. But to think like that goes against all the help I've been given in this post. But he will call again, and step foot inside the store....I might just turn the other way and let someone else help him then. Or make sure he'll be the last to receive service.
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« Reply #22 on: September 16, 2013, 07:08:28 PM »

Thanks again for the advice. I'm trying to keep it in mind and take it to heart. Actually I work with Greek Orthodox people and we all believe in the same thing and support each other. I am very free and allowed to speak however I want to these people, and honestly, I think it's only 10 percent of the clientele. These people are probably prone to evil by nature or so sinful that they choose to not acknowledge the right and just want to have their way. it's a fast-paced environment and people just want to please themselves and have it their way. It's not every day problem, but when it happens, for me the effects last for days or so it feels.

We're all prone to evil by nature. It's a mistake to categorize people into "good" and "bad". I'm not saying that some people aren't better than others along some dimensions, since obviously that's true. But if we go around thinking "that guy is evil, unlike me" then unfortunately we've fallen into the sin of the Pharisee. Categorically speaking, we are all labeled [-good].

orthonorm has a point; you shouldn't let your own humility prevent you from giving reproofs and corrections where called for. The question you have to ask yourself, of course, is how much of your desire to reprove is flowing from an urge to get even, and how much from a genuine Christian desire to help someone improve themselves.

However, I think it's a bit glib to say that it's just about not being boring. Having enemies is something we are to expect as Christians, since many people react negatively to goodness. It would be nice if we could choose our enemies, but we can't, and we're really supposed to think of everyone as lovable.

As I said earlier, all this stuff is hard to carry out in real life as long as I think of myself as someone "good", as someone who deserves respect. It's easier when I remember that I'm a sinner. Definitely still working on it!
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« Reply #23 on: September 16, 2013, 08:20:23 PM »


Thank you for this. I will print it out. Could you please give a little background on this book?

Heg. Fr. Athanasius Iskander has been a Coptic Orthodox priest since 1981. He is the protopriest of St. Mary's Church in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. Before being called to the priesthood he was the assistant head of emergency medicine at a nearby city's general hospital. He is married with two children and three grandchildren. His book is based on the teachings of the desert fathers, as he has internalized them and applied them in his own life, and guided his spiritual children to use. Tito Colliander was a Finish layman who wrote a book applying the asceticism of the desert to the lives of laity in the world (the way of the ascetics). I believe that book was an influence, and this books continues in that tradition, making the spirituality of the fathers accessible to people today. The book started as a series of short articles, which were then collected as chapters in a small book. He has given sermons on most of the same topics, which can be found on the same website if you want to hear it more conversationally. Fr. Athanasius is a pioneer of the use of English and opening of the Coptic Church to all people, having served on the original liturgical translation committee, and having many non-Egyptians fully integrated into his parish. His knowledge of the theological fathers, especially Sts. Athanasius and Cyril, is encyclopaedic, and he has the deepest knowledge of the Liturgy, including the rites, meanings, and tunes, as well as of patristic theology, and desert spirituality, of an Coptic priest I have encountered.
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« Reply #24 on: September 16, 2013, 08:56:49 PM »

Thanks again for the advice. I'm trying to keep it in mind and take it to heart. Actually I work with Greek Orthodox people and we all believe in the same thing and support each other. I am very free and allowed to speak however I want to these people, and honestly, I think it's only 10 percent of the clientele. These people are probably prone to evil by nature or so sinful that they choose to not acknowledge the right and just want to have their way. it's a fast-paced environment and people just want to please themselves and have it their way. It's not every day problem, but when it happens, for me the effects last for days or so it feels.

We're all prone to evil by nature. It's a mistake to categorize people into "good" and "bad". I'm not saying that some people aren't better than others along some dimensions, since obviously that's true. But if we go around thinking "that guy is evil, unlike me" then unfortunately we've fallen into the sin of the Pharisee. Categorically speaking, we are all labeled [-good].

orthonorm has a point; you shouldn't let your own humility prevent you from giving reproofs and corrections where called for. The question you have to ask yourself, of course, is how much of your desire to reprove is flowing from an urge to get even, and how much from a genuine Christian desire to help someone improve themselves.

However, I think it's a bit glib to say that it's just about not being boring. Having enemies is something we are to expect as Christians, since many people react negatively to goodness. It would be nice if we could choose our enemies, but we can't, and we're really supposed to think of everyone as lovable.

As I said earlier, all this stuff is hard to carry out in real life as long as I think of myself as someone "good", as someone who deserves respect. It's easier when I remember that I'm a sinner. Definitely still working on it!

Yes. You are correct. I just meant that I have seen these 'types' of people exhibit the same 'type' of characteristics that I've chose to group as ten percent of the clientele. But you are very right in reminding the 'sin of the Pharisee' with regards to my chosen words.
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« Reply #25 on: September 17, 2013, 08:25:47 AM »

I work for a small family business. I'm a pleasant person with hardly any enemies (that I know of), but I suppose this doesn't hold true when it comes to my customers. I can't deal with this anymore. I have very rude, egotistic, self-righteous, manipulative clients I must service on a daily basis. This is not a restaurant - it's a retail/service business.

I cant take these attitudes. Probably the biggest thing that bothers me is when they either hang up on me in mid-conversation or when my professional opinion is undermined by male chauvinist. Both occurred today and I'm still enraged.

I dwell on it, re-think everything repeatedly in my head, I think about what I could have said or should have said, my body tenses, I actually feel pains in my back and left arm....I cant let it go.

The truth is - I'm not a person who yells or talks back. I think the harshest thing I've ever called a person to his face is 'dumb idiot.' I don't curse, I can't defend myself in a way, I resort to 'intellectual' means of responding but they talk over me with foul language. I then just take it in and repetitively rethink the whole thing (or once cried in the bathroom.)

But why do I let them bother me? I cant talk back. How do I deal with this? When they guy hung up on me, I dialed his number to say don't you ever call back here expecting any service and hang up on me, but I got as far as calling his area code and hung up. Especially today, a feast day, I feel so guilty thinking so badly about these people who upset me....how do I deal with this?

People without enemies are boring.

Recently, I opened someone's car door to explain some traffic rules to them. Calling someone to explain to them phone etiquette is similar and entirely acceptable and to be lauded.

I'll add that I work in New York....so do you now 'understand' what kind of people I deal with ?? Tongue  Needless to say, should I have had the guts to remain on the line and had given him a piece of my mind, I don't doubt he would have hung up on me again before given me a few choice words. But to think like that goes against all the help I've been given in this post. But he will call again, and step foot inside the store....I might just turn the other way and let someone else help him then. Or make sure he'll be the last to receive service.

Yes, Yankees can be a nasty lot.  Here in the South, we just talk behind people's backs at prayer meetings.
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« Reply #26 on: September 17, 2013, 07:01:57 PM »

Well, I can only offer my humble opinion, which may be a bit different from what others might say. But I don't think that you have any obligation to subject yourself to such abuse. If you run the business, then you have control over who you provide service to. It is better to jettison disrespectful clients and cultivate a clientele that you can work with reasonably and respectfully. You may lose some customers at first, but you will gain customers in the long run. And if you are working for someone else, then they should value you enough to protect you from such abuse. A good restaurant manager, for example, will defend his staff from profane and abusive diners. Putting up with rudeness is part of business, but there is no excuse for people to curse you and treat you with utter disrespect. If your boss doesn't have your back in this area, then he's not worth working for. Respectfully but firmly tell your boss that you are a Christian and that you feel violated by people that curse and abuse you. Tell him that you are willing to put up with rude customers, but that you are not willing to put up with extreme abuse and disrespect. If he can't respect that, then it might be time to find other employment. I understand that we are supposed to be like Christ and suffer abuse patiently. God can certainly teach us a lot through such trials. However, you are not in a monastery. You are trying to make a living, and this treatment is affecting your spiritual and emotional (and possibly physical) health. Perhaps you feel forced to deal with this because you can't afford to lose your job. Sadly, many people take advantage of situations like that. But you may have to choose between losing your job or losing your sanity and health. And you don't want to be pushed to the breaking point where you explode and lash out in an unchristian manner. My philosophy is that if others don't treat you respectfully, then there's no sense in continuing to deal with them. And that applies to all areas of life. Life is just to short to allow yourself to be poisoned by other people's negativity.


Selam

While I agree on your principles, I also was thinking that what would God have done if Jesus told him the same thing when he was being whipped and cursed before being crucified. There are many who have died for defending their faith and being mercilessly persecuted.

Sometimes it just is not possible to do what you suggest is my point. Sometimes we suffer great injustices at the hands of so called good people, and no one ever understands or cares. There are times when the only option is to pray and keep your faith.
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« Reply #27 on: September 18, 2013, 12:50:57 AM »

Well, I can only offer my humble opinion, which may be a bit different from what others might say. But I don't think that you have any obligation to subject yourself to such abuse. If you run the business, then you have control over who you provide service to. It is better to jettison disrespectful clients and cultivate a clientele that you can work with reasonably and respectfully. You may lose some customers at first, but you will gain customers in the long run. And if you are working for someone else, then they should value you enough to protect you from such abuse. A good restaurant manager, for example, will defend his staff from profane and abusive diners. Putting up with rudeness is part of business, but there is no excuse for people to curse you and treat you with utter disrespect. If your boss doesn't have your back in this area, then he's not worth working for. Respectfully but firmly tell your boss that you are a Christian and that you feel violated by people that curse and abuse you. Tell him that you are willing to put up with rude customers, but that you are not willing to put up with extreme abuse and disrespect. If he can't respect that, then it might be time to find other employment. I understand that we are supposed to be like Christ and suffer abuse patiently. God can certainly teach us a lot through such trials. However, you are not in a monastery. You are trying to make a living, and this treatment is affecting your spiritual and emotional (and possibly physical) health. Perhaps you feel forced to deal with this because you can't afford to lose your job. Sadly, many people take advantage of situations like that. But you may have to choose between losing your job or losing your sanity and health. And you don't want to be pushed to the breaking point where you explode and lash out in an unchristian manner. My philosophy is that if others don't treat you respectfully, then there's no sense in continuing to deal with them. And that applies to all areas of life. Life is just to short to allow yourself to be poisoned by other people's negativity.


Selam

While I agree on your principles, I also was thinking that what would God have done if Jesus told him the same thing when he was being whipped and cursed before being crucified. There are many who have died for defending their faith and being mercilessly persecuted.

Sometimes it just is not possible to do what you suggest is my point. Sometimes we suffer great injustices at the hands of so called good people, and no one ever understands or cares. There are times when the only option is to pray and keep your faith.

Yes, it's difficult to find the right balance. Everyone has a different threshold for pain. Some people can endure horrible verbal abuse and not allow it to affect them too much. But others might be crippled by extended exposure to such abuse. But you are absolutely correct that the only real solution is to pray and maintain faith.


Selam
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« Reply #28 on: September 18, 2013, 09:27:29 AM »

Quote
Yes, it's difficult to find the right balance. Everyone has a different threshold for pain. Some people can endure horrible verbal abuse and not allow it to affect them too much. But others might be crippled by extended exposure to such abuse. But you are absolutely correct that the only real solution is to pray and maintain faith.


Selam
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« Reply #29 on: September 18, 2013, 09:59:41 AM »

Well, I can only offer my humble opinion, which may be a bit different from what others might say. But I don't think that you have any obligation to subject yourself to such abuse. If you run the business, then you have control over who you provide service to. It is better to jettison disrespectful clients and cultivate a clientele that you can work with reasonably and respectfully. You may lose some customers at first, but you will gain customers in the long run. And if you are working for someone else, then they should value you enough to protect you from such abuse. A good restaurant manager, for example, will defend his staff from profane and abusive diners. Putting up with rudeness is part of business, but there is no excuse for people to curse you and treat you with utter disrespect. If your boss doesn't have your back in this area, then he's not worth working for. Respectfully but firmly tell your boss that you are a Christian and that you feel violated by people that curse and abuse you. Tell him that you are willing to put up with rude customers, but that you are not willing to put up with extreme abuse and disrespect. If he can't respect that, then it might be time to find other employment. I understand that we are supposed to be like Christ and suffer abuse patiently. God can certainly teach us a lot through such trials. However, you are not in a monastery. You are trying to make a living, and this treatment is affecting your spiritual and emotional (and possibly physical) health. Perhaps you feel forced to deal with this because you can't afford to lose your job. Sadly, many people take advantage of situations like that. But you may have to choose between losing your job or losing your sanity and health. And you don't want to be pushed to the breaking point where you explode and lash out in an unchristian manner. My philosophy is that if others don't treat you respectfully, then there's no sense in continuing to deal with them. And that applies to all areas of life. Life is just to short to allow yourself to be poisoned by other people's negativity.


Selam

While I agree on your principles, I also was thinking that what would God have done if Jesus told him the same thing when he was being whipped and cursed before being crucified. There are many who have died for defending their faith and being mercilessly persecuted.

Sometimes it just is not possible to do what you suggest is my point. Sometimes we suffer great injustices at the hands of so called good people, and no one ever understands or cares. There are times when the only option is to pray and keep your faith.

Those "principles" are ain't Christian, so I guess it makes sense to agree . . .

You can pretty much get the Gospel by making each statement in Gebre's post the opposite. Not that Gebre is any different than anyone else around here except perhaps myself. I am just saying.
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« Reply #30 on: September 18, 2013, 10:01:39 AM »

I work for a small family business. I'm a pleasant person with hardly any enemies (that I know of), but I suppose this doesn't hold true when it comes to my customers. I can't deal with this anymore. I have very rude, egotistic, self-righteous, manipulative clients I must service on a daily basis. This is not a restaurant - it's a retail/service business.

I cant take these attitudes. Probably the biggest thing that bothers me is when they either hang up on me in mid-conversation or when my professional opinion is undermined by male chauvinist. Both occurred today and I'm still enraged.

I dwell on it, re-think everything repeatedly in my head, I think about what I could have said or should have said, my body tenses, I actually feel pains in my back and left arm....I cant let it go.

The truth is - I'm not a person who yells or talks back. I think the harshest thing I've ever called a person to his face is 'dumb idiot.' I don't curse, I can't defend myself in a way, I resort to 'intellectual' means of responding but they talk over me with foul language. I then just take it in and repetitively rethink the whole thing (or once cried in the bathroom.)

But why do I let them bother me? I cant talk back. How do I deal with this? When they guy hung up on me, I dialed his number to say don't you ever call back here expecting any service and hang up on me, but I got as far as calling his area code and hung up. Especially today, a feast day, I feel so guilty thinking so badly about these people who upset me....how do I deal with this?

People without enemies are boring.

Recently, I opened someone's car door to explain some traffic rules to them. Calling someone to explain to them phone etiquette is similar and entirely acceptable and to be lauded.

I'll add that I work in New York....so do you now 'understand' what kind of people I deal with ?? Tongue  Needless to say, should I have had the guts to remain on the line and had given him a piece of my mind, I don't doubt he would have hung up on me again before given me a few choice words. But to think like that goes against all the help I've been given in this post. But he will call again, and step foot inside the store....I might just turn the other way and let someone else help him then. Or make sure he'll be the last to receive service.

Yes, Yankees can be a nasty lot.  Here in the South, we just talk behind people's backs at prayer meetings.

New York is a rather polite place. All of America is. And really, for the 1000th time, if you want to say something bad about me, please, do it behind my back.

In fact, I would appreciate if nearly everyone said everything they had to say about everything behind my back.

You all are not that interesting.
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« Reply #31 on: September 18, 2013, 10:05:45 AM »

Quote
Yes, it's difficult to find the right balance. Everyone has a different threshold for pain. Some people can endure horrible verbal abuse and not allow it to affect them too much. But others might be crippled by extended exposure to such abuse. But you are absolutely correct that the only real solution is to pray and maintain faith.


Selam
+

Crippled by what again? Rude behavior over the phone when you are someone in charge of customer service or some other method of getting people's money from them? Eat some spine. A can or two of sardines should do the trick.
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« Reply #32 on: September 18, 2013, 10:56:35 AM »

You all are not that interesting.

Please say this behind our backs.
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« Reply #33 on: September 18, 2013, 12:06:52 PM »

Quote
Yes, it's difficult to find the right balance. Everyone has a different threshold for pain. Some people can endure horrible verbal abuse and not allow it to affect them too much. But others might be crippled by extended exposure to such abuse. But you are absolutely correct that the only real solution is to pray and maintain faith.


Selam
+

Crippled by what again? Rude behavior over the phone when you are someone in charge of customer service or some other method of getting people's money from them? Eat some spine. A can or two of sardines should do the trick.
LOL this reminds me the thread I made over an electric bill and getting screamed at for money.
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« Reply #34 on: September 18, 2013, 02:02:45 PM »

Loving your enemy means not holding grudges and not seeking vengeance. It does not mean being a doormat in a business setting or not being assertive.
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« Reply #35 on: September 18, 2013, 06:21:42 PM »


Thank you for this. I will print it out. Could you please give a little background on this book?

Heg. Fr. Athanasius Iskander has been a Coptic Orthodox priest since 1981. He is the protopriest of St. Mary's Church in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. Before being called to the priesthood he was the assistant head of emergency medicine at a nearby city's general hospital. He is married with two children and three grandchildren. His book is based on the teachings of the desert fathers, as he has internalized them and applied them in his own life, and guided his spiritual children to use. Tito Colliander was a Finish layman who wrote a book applying the asceticism of the desert to the lives of laity in the world (the way of the ascetics). I believe that book was an influence, and this books continues in that tradition, making the spirituality of the fathers accessible to people today. The book started as a series of short articles, which were then collected as chapters in a small book. He has given sermons on most of the same topics, which can be found on the same website if you want to hear it more conversationally. Fr. Athanasius is a pioneer of the use of English and opening of the Coptic Church to all people, having served on the original liturgical translation committee, and having many non-Egyptians fully integrated into his parish. His knowledge of the theological fathers, especially Sts. Athanasius and Cyril, is encyclopaedic, and he has the deepest knowledge of the Liturgy, including the rites, meanings, and tunes, as well as of patristic theology, and desert spirituality, of an Coptic priest I have encountered.

Thanks again for this book. I'm have way through it and find it very meaningful to say the least. Just a question: please inform me if I'm misinformed - The Coptic Faith, isn't it different from us Orth. Christians in the sense that the Coptics believe Christ isn't in fact God, just His 'Son?' I believe I was once told that this distinct is what really 'separates' us in terms of faith.

I ask, only because I read anything pertaining to Orthodox Christianity only, although I find this book by the Coptic priest as very enlightening.
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« Reply #36 on: September 18, 2013, 06:23:05 PM »

Loving your enemy means not holding grudges and not seeking vengeance. It does not mean being a doormat in a business setting or not being assertive.

Short people can love too.
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« Reply #37 on: September 18, 2013, 06:30:22 PM »

The Coptic Faith, isn't it different from us Orth. Christians in the sense that the Coptics believe Christ isn't in fact God, just His 'Son?' I believe I was once told that this distinct is what really 'separates' us in terms of faith.

I ask, only because I read anything pertaining to Orthodox Christianity only, although I find this book by the Coptic priest as very enlightening.

No.  We believe that Christ is fully God and fully man, not just God's Son (what you described is more like Arianism).  The "difference" between us and the Eastern Orthodox concerns the acceptance of the Council of Chalcedon and its dogmatic definition on the two natures of Christ. 
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« Reply #38 on: September 18, 2013, 07:03:50 PM »

Well, I can only offer my humble opinion, which may be a bit different from what others might say. But I don't think that you have any obligation to subject yourself to such abuse. If you run the business, then you have control over who you provide service to. It is better to jettison disrespectful clients and cultivate a clientele that you can work with reasonably and respectfully. You may lose some customers at first, but you will gain customers in the long run. And if you are working for someone else, then they should value you enough to protect you from such abuse. A good restaurant manager, for example, will defend his staff from profane and abusive diners. Putting up with rudeness is part of business, but there is no excuse for people to curse you and treat you with utter disrespect. If your boss doesn't have your back in this area, then he's not worth working for. Respectfully but firmly tell your boss that you are a Christian and that you feel violated by people that curse and abuse you. Tell him that you are willing to put up with rude customers, but that you are not willing to put up with extreme abuse and disrespect. If he can't respect that, then it might be time to find other employment. I understand that we are supposed to be like Christ and suffer abuse patiently. God can certainly teach us a lot through such trials. However, you are not in a monastery. You are trying to make a living, and this treatment is affecting your spiritual and emotional (and possibly physical) health. Perhaps you feel forced to deal with this because you can't afford to lose your job. Sadly, many people take advantage of situations like that. But you may have to choose between losing your job or losing your sanity and health. And you don't want to be pushed to the breaking point where you explode and lash out in an unchristian manner. My philosophy is that if others don't treat you respectfully, then there's no sense in continuing to deal with them. And that applies to all areas of life. Life is just to short to allow yourself to be poisoned by other people's negativity.


Selam

While I agree on your principles, I also was thinking that what would God have done if Jesus told him the same thing when he was being whipped and cursed before being crucified. There are many who have died for defending their faith and being mercilessly persecuted.

Sometimes it just is not possible to do what you suggest is my point. Sometimes we suffer great injustices at the hands of so called good people, and no one ever understands or cares. There are times when the only option is to pray and keep your faith.

Those "principles" are ain't Christian, so I guess it makes sense to agree . . .

You can pretty much get the Gospel by making each statement in Gebre's post the opposite. Not that Gebre is any different than anyone else around here except perhaps myself. I am just saying.

Is this part of your "are ain't" docterin? Grin
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« Reply #39 on: September 18, 2013, 07:05:57 PM »

Well, I can only offer my humble opinion, which may be a bit different from what others might say. But I don't think that you have any obligation to subject yourself to such abuse. If you run the business, then you have control over who you provide service to. It is better to jettison disrespectful clients and cultivate a clientele that you can work with reasonably and respectfully. You may lose some customers at first, but you will gain customers in the long run. And if you are working for someone else, then they should value you enough to protect you from such abuse. A good restaurant manager, for example, will defend his staff from profane and abusive diners. Putting up with rudeness is part of business, but there is no excuse for people to curse you and treat you with utter disrespect. If your boss doesn't have your back in this area, then he's not worth working for. Respectfully but firmly tell your boss that you are a Christian and that you feel violated by people that curse and abuse you. Tell him that you are willing to put up with rude customers, but that you are not willing to put up with extreme abuse and disrespect. If he can't respect that, then it might be time to find other employment. I understand that we are supposed to be like Christ and suffer abuse patiently. God can certainly teach us a lot through such trials. However, you are not in a monastery. You are trying to make a living, and this treatment is affecting your spiritual and emotional (and possibly physical) health. Perhaps you feel forced to deal with this because you can't afford to lose your job. Sadly, many people take advantage of situations like that. But you may have to choose between losing your job or losing your sanity and health. And you don't want to be pushed to the breaking point where you explode and lash out in an unchristian manner. My philosophy is that if others don't treat you respectfully, then there's no sense in continuing to deal with them. And that applies to all areas of life. Life is just to short to allow yourself to be poisoned by other people's negativity.


Selam

While I agree on your principles, I also was thinking that what would God have done if Jesus told him the same thing when he was being whipped and cursed before being crucified. There are many who have died for defending their faith and being mercilessly persecuted.

Sometimes it just is not possible to do what you suggest is my point. Sometimes we suffer great injustices at the hands of so called good people, and no one ever understands or cares. There are times when the only option is to pray and keep your faith.

Those "principles" are ain't Christian, so I guess it makes sense to agree . . .

You can pretty much get the Gospel by making each statement in Gebre's post the opposite. Not that Gebre is any different than anyone else around here except perhaps myself. I am just saying.

Is this part of your "are ain't" docterin? Grin

Sometimes I am only half wrong.
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« Reply #40 on: September 18, 2013, 07:15:34 PM »

The Coptic Faith, isn't it different from us Orth. Christians in the sense that the Coptics believe Christ isn't in fact God, just His 'Son?' I believe I was once told that this distinct is what really 'separates' us in terms of faith.

I ask, only because I read anything pertaining to Orthodox Christianity only, although I find this book by the Coptic priest as very enlightening.

No.  We believe that Christ is fully God and fully man, not just God's Son (what you described is more like Arianism).  The "difference" between us and the Eastern Orthodox concerns the acceptance of the Council of Chalcedon and its dogmatic definition on the two natures of Christ. 

Then doesn't this theory dispel the belief of the Holy Trinity? How can you believe in the Father, the Holy Spirit, but not believe in the Son?
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« Reply #41 on: September 18, 2013, 07:50:01 PM »

The Coptic Faith, isn't it different from us Orth. Christians in the sense that the Coptics believe Christ isn't in fact God, just His 'Son?' I believe I was once told that this distinct is what really 'separates' us in terms of faith.

I ask, only because I read anything pertaining to Orthodox Christianity only, although I find this book by the Coptic priest as very enlightening.

No.  We believe that Christ is fully God and fully man, not just God's Son (what you described is more like Arianism).  The "difference" between us and the Eastern Orthodox concerns the acceptance of the Council of Chalcedon and its dogmatic definition on the two natures of Christ. 

Then doesn't this theory dispel the belief of the Holy Trinity? How can you believe in the Father, the Holy Spirit, but not believe in the Son?
No
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« Reply #42 on: September 18, 2013, 08:53:12 PM »

The Coptic Faith, isn't it different from us Orth. Christians in the sense that the Coptics believe Christ isn't in fact God, just His 'Son?' I believe I was once told that this distinct is what really 'separates' us in terms of faith.

I ask, only because I read anything pertaining to Orthodox Christianity only, although I find this book by the Coptic priest as very enlightening.

No.  We believe that Christ is fully God and fully man, not just God's Son (what you described is more like Arianism).  The "difference" between us and the Eastern Orthodox concerns the acceptance of the Council of Chalcedon and its dogmatic definition on the two natures of Christ. 

Then doesn't this theory dispel the belief of the Holy Trinity? How can you believe in the Father, the Holy Spirit, but not believe in the Son?

Our Lord, God, and Saviour, Jesus Christ, is my God, and is the God of Fr. Athanasius! We would never deny this, we are Christians!

We believe in the Holy Trinity: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, One God.

The Logos of God, i.e. the Son, took flesh, and we confess the One Nature of the Incarnate Logos, who is perfectly human and perfectly divine, coessential with the Father in His divinity, and consubstantial to us in His humanity!

It was St. Athanasius, a Copt, who defeated Arius' wrong teaching that the Son is less than the Father.
It was St. Cyril, who confessed this One Nature of the Incarnate Logos, against Nestorius.

Some have accused us of denying the humanity of Christ because we speak of the One Nature of the Incarnate Logos, saying that we must mean that the divinity swallowed the humanity, since divinity is greater than humanity, so in a union it must overwhelm. But this is not what we believe. St. Cyril, who we both hold as a pillar of the Church, confessed the One Nature of the Incarnate Lord. We confess that He is perfectly human and perfectly God, we just don't tend to speak of His humanity and divinity as separate after the hypostatic union, but speak of the one nature of the Incarnate Lord after the hypostatic union of the divinity and humanity. We did not and have not accepted Chalcedon because of a fear that the language can be understood in a way that leads towards Nestorianism, dividing Christ's humanity and divinity... But certainly this is not how the EO understand it. I believe the same as the OO, and I believe the same as the EO, that Christ is perfectly human and perfectly God, and I pray for unity and an overcoming of the old misunderstandings, that were often politically motivated disputes.
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« Reply #43 on: September 18, 2013, 09:24:00 PM »

The Coptic Faith, isn't it different from us Orth. Christians in the sense that the Coptics believe Christ isn't in fact God, just His 'Son?' I believe I was once told that this distinct is what really 'separates' us in terms of faith.

I ask, only because I read anything pertaining to Orthodox Christianity only, although I find this book by the Coptic priest as very enlightening.

No.  We believe that Christ is fully God and fully man, not just God's Son (what you described is more like Arianism).  The "difference" between us and the Eastern Orthodox concerns the acceptance of the Council of Chalcedon and its dogmatic definition on the two natures of Christ. 

Then doesn't this theory dispel the belief of the Holy Trinity? How can you believe in the Father, the Holy Spirit, but not believe in the Son?

Our Lord, God, and Saviour, Jesus Christ, is my God, and is the God of Fr. Athanasius! We would never deny this, we are Christians!

We believe in the Holy Trinity: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, One God.

The Logos of God, i.e. the Son, took flesh, and we confess the One Nature of the Incarnate Logos, who is perfectly human and perfectly divine, coessential with the Father in His divinity, and consubstantial to us in His humanity!

It was St. Athanasius, a Copt, who defeated Arius' wrong teaching that the Son is less than the Father.
It was St. Cyril, who confessed this One Nature of the Incarnate Logos, against Nestorius.

Some have accused us of denying the humanity of Christ because we speak of the One Nature of the Incarnate Logos, saying that we must mean that the divinity swallowed the humanity, since divinity is greater than humanity, so in a union it must overwhelm. But this is not what we believe. St. Cyril, who we both hold as a pillar of the Church, confessed the One Nature of the Incarnate Lord. We confess that He is perfectly human and perfectly God, we just don't tend to speak of His humanity and divinity as separate after the hypostatic union, but speak of the one nature of the Incarnate Lord after the hypostatic union of the divinity and humanity. We did not and have not accepted Chalcedon because of a fear that the language can be understood in a way that leads towards Nestorianism, dividing Christ's humanity and divinity... But certainly this is not how the EO understand it. I believe the same as the OO, and I believe the same as the EO, that Christ is perfectly human and perfectly God, and I pray for unity and an overcoming of the old misunderstandings, that were often politically motivated disputes.

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Selam
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“Lord, I say too many uncharitable things about people every day. I say them because they make me look clever. Help me to realize how cheap this is. I am stupid, quite as stupid as the people I ridicule. Help me to stop this selfishness, because I love You dear God." ~ FLANNERY O'CONNOR ~
Gebre Menfes Kidus
"SERVANT of The HOLY SPIRIT"
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« Reply #44 on: September 18, 2013, 09:30:12 PM »

Quote
Yes, it's difficult to find the right balance. Everyone has a different threshold for pain. Some people can endure horrible verbal abuse and not allow it to affect them too much. But others might be crippled by extended exposure to such abuse. But you are absolutely correct that the only real solution is to pray and maintain faith.


Selam
+

Crippled by what again? Rude behavior over the phone when you are someone in charge of customer service or some other method of getting people's money from them? Eat some spine. A can or two of sardines should do the trick.

Tell that to people who have been driven to suicide by verbal, psychological, and emotional bullying. I guess they were just spineless people who didn't understand the Gospel.


Selam
Logged

“Lord, I say too many uncharitable things about people every day. I say them because they make me look clever. Help me to realize how cheap this is. I am stupid, quite as stupid as the people I ridicule. Help me to stop this selfishness, because I love You dear God." ~ FLANNERY O'CONNOR ~
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