004 - What to Do When People Turn on You - Leaders.Church


004 – What to Do When People Turn on You

What’s in this Episode?

Have you ever had somebody stab you in the back? You trusted them, you did life together, you considered them a friend, and then they turned on you. And what’s worse is, you never saw it coming. And you wonder what happened? In today’s episode, we’re going to talk about how this happens in ministry, and what you can do when people turn on you.

Read the Transcript

Dick Hardy 0:32
Gotta tell you friend, I’ve had this happen twice to me in ministry, where I’ve locked arms with someone, became very, very close to them, and then they turned on me and I lost my ministry position. The first time it happened, I was going into a tailspin and I had a… I’m gonna call him a friend of mine. I wasn’t even really close to him, but I remember the spot we were at when he said to me, Dick, do not be bitter. I did not follow his advice and it ate me up. Years later, when unfortunately, I faced the same kind of thing again, I remembered those words, don’t be bitter. And I wasn’t. I was not going to allow bitterness to well up within me when someone had done me wrong. And it happens. If you’re in ministry long enough, somebody’s going to turn on you, and it’s going to hurt. And so we want to talk about that today with you. What are some steps to do? What do you do in ministry? You’re called of the Lord. And then this happens. What do you do when people turn on you? So let’s get started with that. We’re going to talk about seven action steps, if we can use that term, that you can use to process intentionally when people turn on you, so what’s the first one, Jonathan?

#1: Forgive

Jonathan Hardy 1:53
Well, the first action is something that we know to do, but it’s hard to do and that is: forgive. This is a conscious act I mean, you have to make a willful decision that you’re going to forgive that person when they turn on you. And regardless of the circumstances, whether or not you know, they were partly right or fully right, or maybe just a tiny bit, it doesn’t matter. Like, we just have to forgive. That’s what God calls us to we that’s what we know we should do. And yeah, it’s hard to do. And this is something you have to do over and over and over, you have to just constantly forgive and it may be even just more mentally than anything. Depends on who the person is, and the circumstances. If there’s that actual personal forgiveness happening, or if it’s just you mentally saying, you know what, I’m gonna forgive that person not being bitter, like you talked about, and just saying, hey, I need to move on past, you know, we tell our kids all the time, you know, forgive and move on past Don’t let angry feelings last, you know, and it’s like, you know, it’s just, you know, it’s true. It’s true, even as adults, we need to hear that sometimes. And so even right now, if you have someone that that happened to you, my encouragement to you is forgive. So that’s the first thing

#2: Face Up to the Loss of the Friendship

Dick Hardy 2:20
And forgive whether they’re right or whether they’re wrong, makes no difference. You’ve got to forgive. Number two, face up to the loss of the friendship. Now, this is painful in the sense that you, you probably were genuinely friends with that person. And now you’ve lost that, that becomes an unintended consequence or a result of this conflict that’s happened that resulted in that person turning on you. And you’ve got to face up to that, that you’re, you maybe have lost that friendship and that ministry partnership.

#3: Get Help

Jonathan Hardy 3:34
Yep. Number three, get help. One of the most important things to do is to seek help from other people. I mean, that’s how God designed the body of Christ. We’re not isolated. We’re not out on our own, alone, trying to figure everything out on our own. God designed the body of Christ to function like a body where each of us have a part. We all play a role. Bible says when one part suffers, every part suffers with it. We have to make sure that we also seek help. Now, typically, we’re ones that are giving the help, you know, in ministry, it’s like you’re helping this person and this person, well, there’s times where you need some help too. And that’s why you need some trusted, close friends that you can go to, to get that help from. And so seek help. It might even be some sort of counseling that you need. That’s okay. That’s not bad thing. Everyone you know, everyone could use a little councel, and it’s important for us to seek counsel from people and even if it’s their job as a counselor, we need that and that’s a good thing. You’re not Superwoman. You’re not Superman. No one is perfect. We all need help. And so we need to get help.

Dick Hardy 4:35
Absolutely. Number four, Jonathan, what is that?

#4: Don’t Retaliate

Jonathan Hardy 4:37
Fourth thing is don’t retaliate. Now, this is one of those things where the flesh just comes out and we want to get back at people. I mean, man, well, “I’m going to show them” you know, that’s another thing I teach my kids, we don’t do pay backs, you know, we got a lot of parenting lessons here. Don’t worry. Yeah, no pay backs. Now, that’s hard. Sometimes it’s like, well, I just want to cut them back with some cutting words. I want to you know, fire off a nasty gram email, I want to do all this stuff or post it and let everyone know that this person just did that. Well, that’s not the right way to get back at people. We don’t get back at people, we need to say you know what? It is what it, is and we need to move on and even though it might hurt, it may sting, they may have been completely wrong. Don’t retaliate.

#5: Don’t Be Bitter

Dick Hardy 5:25
Exactly. And number five jumps right off of that, don’t be bitter. Yes, referenced in my story earlier that I got bitter that first go around, hurt me, not him. So do not be bitter. And if you’ll do that, you’re really following what scripture admonishes us in these kind of things. Bitterness kills, forgiveness heals. The sixth one, talk to the person who turned on you. Now, this is obviously a timing thing. When the time is right, and generally, there will be a right time, may not be today, tomorrow, next week, next month, but there will probably be a time where you’ll be able to talk to that person and move to the road of reconciliation. Does that mean you’re going to resolve whatever caused him or her to turn on you? Not necessarily, but in this whole process of forgiveness, and letting go, you’re going to need to talk to that person and ultimately, seek reconciliation. But I will say, keep your expectations in check. Don’t expect that when you meet with them, everything’s going to go all back to normal. It could, probably is not going to, so just keep your expectations in check there.

#6 Reflect On What Happened and Why It Happened

Jonathan Hardy 6:41
That’s, that’s really good. The final one is to reflect on what happened and why it happened. You know, just taking some time for self reflection. How did this go wrong? How did I view something one way and then all of a sudden that feels like they turned on me. What? You know, what just happened? And there may be some aspects of it where it’s on, you, you know, we’re not perfect. So, maybe we did a couple things wrong that we should have maybe approached differently. And that’s okay. We just have to be able to recognize that, because if we don’t stop to reflect, then that means it could happen again. On the flipside, if you do take the time to reflect, what could you have done different? How could I? How could you have approached the situation different? Are there things you could have done to prevent those people feeling the way they felt, which then caused them to turn on you? You know, there’s all kinds of things and it depends on the scenario that you you might be dealing with. But the fact is, you have to take time for reflection.


Dick Hardy 7:38
Exactly. Well, let’s do a little recap here. There are seven action steps that we feel you need to take. And this isn’t necessarily an all inclusive list, but I think it’s a pretty good starter kit. So when people turn on you in ministry, here’s what you do. Number one, forgive. Number two, face up to the loss of friendship and/or ministry partnership. Number three, get help. Four, don’t retaliate. Five, don’t be bitter. Number six, talk to the person who turned on you. And number seven, reflect on what and why it happened. If you’ll do these seven things, you’ll be well on your way to moving to the next level, moving beyond the hurt and pain that has happened. By the way, I’m going to mention to you that here in some upcoming episodes here, in a couple of weeks, we are going to be releasing a two part series on betrayal in ministry. So this is when people turned on you in betrayal. There’s a lot of similarities, but we’re really going to be dovetailing off and going deeper into this subject. So keep your eye peeled for that here in the next couple of weeks.

Dick Hardy 8:44
I also want to encourage you to sign up for the five day Leadership Challenge. You may have heard of this. But I want to tell you when you’re in ministry, even when you’re facing the kind of thing we’re talking about here, the stronger you can be as a leader, the better able you’re going to be to deal with this kind of negative thing that comes your way the Five Day Leadership Challenge is free to you. Literally, just go to Leaders.Church/challenge, and you’ll be able to jump in today. You log in there today and this will be day one, you’re investing 15 minutes a day in you, not the ministry, not other things, but investing in you because as you get better, then the ministry can get better. So I really want to encourage you to do that. I think you’ll find that very, very helpful. Again, it’s free to you so, Leaders.Church/challenge. I also want to encourage you to subscribe to the podcast, whatever platform you watch it on. We’d love to have you part of the Church Tips family as we’re going along and doing all we can to help you and the local church be all you need to be. Anything else, Jonathan? We got it covered? Thanks very much for hanging out with us and we pray that as you continue in ministry, whether people have turned on you or not, that you’re going to move forward and be all God wants to be. Make it a great one today and be blessed.

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