Mark Alan Williams
How To Keep Crazies From Driving You Crazy
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I’ve dealt with plenty of “crazies” over the years. I bet you have too. Some are friends, family and coworkers whom I’ve cared about deeply. But I’ve found their craziness is often contagious. If I’m not careful, they can drag me down with them. How do you keep crazies from driving you crazy?
Some have had mild to severe mental issues such as autism, Alzheimer’s disease and even suicidal tendencies. My heart breaks for them.
Others have been relatively stable people whose personal issues just made life very difficult for others. They were unforgiving, unbending, autocratic, micromanaging, self-consumed, rude, unkind and so on.
Still others have been caught up in mild to significant sin issues such as pedophilia, domestic violence, alcoholism, porn, and other addictions. Some have tried to drag me into their crazy-making issues.
“Crazies” abound and every one of them can drive us crazy if we’re not careful.
So here’s some biblical thoughts on how to keep crazies from driving you crazy:
01. Absolutely refuse to let crazies take you down with them.
A few years ago a family member’s unresolved misery was making me miserable too. I was slipping into a pit of despair tied to that person’s despair.
Finally, I realized that I must refuse to let that happen.
What good does it do if we allow others to drive us crazy? It simply creates two crazies instead of just one.
I could best help both of us by maintaining a faith-filled, positive attitude.
Biblical teaching tells us to “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4 NIV)
Can we care about and empathize with crazies and still maintain a joyful overall attitude? Yes, we can! In fact, we HAVE to. It’s not optional.
Being miserable because others are miserable doesn’t solve the issue. In fact, it will probably inhibit our ability to assist them.
We must refuse to go down with those who are down. | CLICK TO TWEET
We must follow the teaching of 2 Corinthians 10:5b (NIV), “We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
02. Find an appropriate level of separation.
Sometimes we just need to get away from the people that are driving us crazy.
When King Saul went berserk and even tried to kill David, he fled from Saul’s presence. He wasn’t rejecting Saul or no longer caring about him. He just recognized that it wasn’t healthy to stay. (see 1 Samuel 18:6-20:42)
If there is child abuse, elder abuse or other abuse and you have the ability to protect the defenseless, you owe it to them to provide separation.
In a similar way, sometimes we need to get ourselves away from an abusive situation or relationship. It’s OK to protect yourself!
You can keep the crazies from driving you crazy by separating from them. | CLICK TO TWEET
Jesus separated Himself from those who were seeking to kill Him. He spent most of His time with those who were receptive to His teaching: the 12, the 3 of his inner circle, and so on.
Separation doesn’t mean rejection—it means staying away until a person decides to take the actions needed to overcome their issues.
Yes, we must forgive. But forgiveness doesn’t mean toleration of bad behavior. Forgive others, but if their behavior doesn’t change, create appropriate separation from them.
03. Thank God that He is working in the situation.
If we think there is no good in a situation, no purpose, no redeeming issues, then the craziness will drive us even more crazy.
We must remember that nothing escapes God’s sovereignty.
You might think that your situation is without purpose, is merely the result of bad choices and bad luck. But the truth is that God is working in the situation in ways you and I might not understand until we get to the other side.
You’ll perhaps remember that the Apostle Paul had a “thorn in the flesh” which was driving him crazy. He begged the Lord to remove it from him repeatedly.
But God’s response was that He had a purpose in it. The Lord said to Paul “my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
So Paul came to thank God and rejoice in his “thorn in the flesh” and other trials. He wrote “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:10 ESV)
When we are weakened by crazies, it gives an opportunity for the Lord to be strong in our lives! How awesome is that!
Have you thanked God for how you can grow through your crazy making situation?Have you thanked God that when we are weak, He is strong?
One of the most difficult things about crazies is that their craziness often makes no sense. It’s crazy! But it does make sense when we believe that God is working in the situation and making “all things work together for good.” (Romans 8:28)
Don’t worry about having all the answers about why, why not, what if, and if only.Those questions can drive us crazy.
The fact is that God IS working through your crazy situation and one day we will understand.
Look at the back side of a needle point picture and it is a tangled mess of knots and threads going different directions. There is no beauty and it makes no sense, until you see it from the other side. That’s when you see the beauty of it.
Similarly, one day we will see things on the other side. It will be beautiful, and everything will make sense.
We must be patient for that day to come, remembering that God is working in every situation.
For more help, here are other articles I’ve written to help deal with difficult relationships: