Last week after lunch with a dear friend we got to talking about a subject I had never thought of before and it has become new, thought-provoking and even a little exciting to think about.
My friend told me about a friend of hers that brings high drama everywhere and seems to thrive in that kind of atmosphere and how it was so wearisome to her. I agree….I really do not like dramatic people (dramatic in a negative, ‘it’s all about me’, and no-one-has-it-harder-than-me way) and am always amazed and mystified by the people who seemingly thrive on it, and thus create it in their own lives on some level. My friend was praying about the situation she was in with “Drama Friend” and found herself asking Jesus if he ever had to deal with any drama from others. Right away she was reminded of the time He and his guys (the disciples) were arguing about who would be the greatest when he was gone. Good grief! Talk about drama!
I immediately thought of the verse that tells us He was tempted in all points that we will ever be and yet did not ever sin SO THAT he could then faithfully and with total understanding, awareness, empathy and remembrance of how each temptation felt (I don’t believe he has forgotten one single feeling of what it felt like to live down here) pray for and interceed for us in our temptations. In light then of my conversation that day, we realized that this would have been another area he was most definitely tempted in, and that was how to be a friend while at the same time not get caught up in someone else’s stuff to the degree that you became an enabler or join in the gossip or criticism yourself. Jesus always remained focused on the bigger picture and continually pointed people to a solution rather than more of the muck.
For instance, when the disciples were trying to outrank each other on who should be the Top Dog once Jesus was gone (Mark 9:33-34), Jesus asked them what they were arguing about outside as they were walking. By this time, they were in somebody’s home and it says that Jesus called the guys together and then proceeded to tell them how to become the greatest if that is what they wanted to know. They had been embarrassed when he had asked them about it cause they didn’t think he could have possibly heard them. Ha! He did better than that….he read their thoughts!
Anyway, Jesus didn’t retaliate and blast them by saying something like, “Why are you playing that game? That is not what this is about! Knock it off!” (That’s what I probably would have said anyway) But instead he says, ok, if you want to be #1 then you have to be the last one in line and serve everyone you meet along the way. Silence. Crickets chirping. And then he picks up one of the little children of the home and uses that child as an example. Huh! I thought we were talking about greatness here? He was! Smile.
I so admire his patience and wisdom here. He used their anxieties and showed them a completely different way of thinking about it. So cool.
Another time after he had fed the multitudes, he and the disciples are on a boat afterwards and the guys are whining AGAIN but this time about the fact that they forgot to bring something to eat along. Hello guys….he had just fed 5000 people with a little bit AND you had a bunch of leftovers. What happened to the leftovers? Did they go and leave the doggy bags behind like I have at restaurants sometimes? Or did that excess suddenly seem like not enough? They were sitting with The Bread of Life in the boat! I love this quote from a blog I recently read about this very portion of scripture, “…but instead of rolling his eyes and pushing them overboard so he could be alone with his sanity…” he reminds them of the excess and that he didn’t only provide enough, he provided more than enough and he would do that again and again.
I then just realized Jesus was constantly confronted with people’s drama. Yes, many came with real needs but sometimes they also came with a pity party. Like Martha complaining about Mary not helping her out enough. Or the Pharisees complaining about how the disciples didn’t keep some Law but instead chose to help someone of all the nerve. I can’t even imagine how exhausted Jesus must have been at times.
Jesus was tempted countless times in these situations to be impatient, to be rude, and to use his power for his own convenience, to scream at them to go away but he never once did. He just loved them, listened and showed them a better way to live and a better way to think about things. But trust me, He well understands how draining these people can be.
The difference between Him and us (one of MANY!) is that Jesus truly could help every situation and we sometimes can’t much. We can choose to not surround ourselves with Drama Kings and Queens but sometimes we have to.
There is much to consider here.
Those kinds of people may seem to be almost thriving in those situations because of the attention they get, but really, they aren’t at all. They are in a mess in it. They are overwhelmed and do not know what to do about their mess. Their own negativity is eating them alive. They need Jesus. And sometimes, they may know about Jesus, like the disciples, but they may not yet have a clue that they can give Him all their mess and He will sort it out. They may not yet have the faith to believe there is another way to live. They may not yet understand the concept that Jesus cares about every single part of their life and that they can talk to Him about every part of their life.
Sometimes the Drama Kings or Queens only want to hear themselves talk and you can’t get a word in edgewise. As their friend, or neighbor or co-worker at that point, what you can do is become a mighty prayer warrior on their behalf. Don’t ever underestimate the power in prayer. Be a source of calm and peace yourself.
One other sensitive area here: We may have a Drama Person in our life that is driving us crazy and we then turn around and tell everyone else about that Person and WE end up being a Drama Person ourselves. Ouch. Someone that other people don’t want to be around.
Jesus never got sucked to their negativity; He just poured out love and solutions. Obviously, millions today want nothing to do with Him but as the Great Physician, he will always be the answer. He can calm the storm, still the wind and waves. He knows how much we can handle and He has not left us on our own. There IS rest and peace with Him.