How do you handle people trying to pull you into their problems?


I am a Christian and so is the rest of my family.  I request your prayer on behalf of my son, myself, and fellow Christians.  My son and I used to work at a Christian school.  However, we no longer are there -- by choice I might add.   

The little school is really being challenged by disgruntle parents of one of the students.  Initially, these parents were including my son in some of their allegations but have since withdrawn their initial statements and have absolved my son of any wrong doing.  Thank goodness.  However, it is a very tough situation for all involved.  My son and I are very anxious about this whole ordeal.  Since we left there has still been more incidents involving this same family and the school and the child has been let go from the school. The parents of this child for whatever reason have begun to continuously call my home.They want to fill me in on everything they're mad about and what they plan to do legally about some of the things they're upset about.  Despite my best effort to remind them that I no longer work there and really would just like to stay out of the whole thing -- they continue to call.  I am now screening my calls.  I feel bad about doing something so blatant, but they are really disrupting my home life.  I only know these people from when I worked at school -- its not like we are friends.  

I am so sorry this is so vague, but I don't think I need to give you specific details for you to get the idea of what's going on.  My biggest worry is their sock-it-to the school mentality.  I worked up there and most of the workers are such good people.  I don't want them to catch wind that these people have been calling me or that I am involved in this in any way.  I have been so nervous about all of this -- I have never ever ever been a part of something so severe and something that has a possibility of turning into a big legal issue.  I have contacted a lawyer just to get some legal advice and was told not to talk to these people anymore for the time being.  This is just such a heavy situation for all involved.  I would respectfully appreciate you praying about this and if you have time, write me back.  I think this could be something that could have Christians not trusting Christians. 

I am sad about the whole thing. I know what the Bible says about worry and I am trying very hard to not borrow trouble.  I have had depression issues for about the last 5 years and for the last year have really managed to do ok.  I do not want to go down that path, but my mind just keeps thinking and obsessing about this situation. 

I know that I have rambled.  My dad sent me the information about your web site.  I have enjoyed reading the articles on various subjects.  I guess I just felt like you might understand if I unloaded on you.

Please pray for all involved in this situation.  I know that God will work this out better than any scenario we could ever come up with.

God bless you as you continue to do the work of God.


I am glad you took time to write, though I'm sorry about the situation. You need to keep in mind Jesus' words, "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven" (Matthew 7:21). In other words, not everyone who calls themselves Christian are necessary doing what is right. The name alone doesn't guarantee an entrance into heaven.

To understand the situation better, you should consider why they are involving you. Since you no longer work there, obviously you have no impact on any possible problem. Thus the person is calling not for help but for sympathy. She assumes that because you left you are sympathetic to her own problems. I suspect that you are a kind person and allow the other person to have her say. Even though you tell her that you can't help her, since she isn't looking for help, she continues to pour out her problems to you.

The core of the difficulty is that the ones calling you are involved in gossip. They are taking their problems to a third party instead of dealing with the issues directly. "And besides they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not" (I Timothy 5:13). There is only one way to handle a gossip, but it is hard for a sympathetic person to do -- you have to stop listening.

Screening your calls is one way to handle the problem. If it gets really annoying you can contact your phone company and get call blocking installed as an option, where you no longer get calls from certain numbers. Of course, this won't stop all calls, but it will seriously cut the number of them. Hopefully they will get the hint. But for really serious problem callers, you politely answer but as soon as the conversation turns in any way toward talk about the school just state, "I've realized that gossiping is wrong, so I've decided to no longer to participate in it. You have a nice day, but I'm going now." And then hang up. It might take several times, especially for thick-headed people, to get the point across, but they will stop calling because they are no longer getting the sympathetic ear that they want.

Thank you for the words of encouragement and the reminder of just what the Scriptures say about these things. I think when you love people it hurts to see them have to deal with such hardships. It is a very inept feeling, as a friend, to watch them have to go through such a terrible ordeal. I am now screening my calls and trying my best to stay out of this situation. I will continue to hold up to the Father those who are involved.

Thank you again for taking time out of your busy schedule to minister to me.