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How can I get on with someone I find difficult?

Sometimes a relationship is difficult because of the other persons actions or attitude, and sometimes it is difficult because of our own actions and attitude. Normally, it is a bit of both! It is very easy to look at the other person and see their faults without looking at our own and you must avoid this danger. The Apostle Paul speaks about this kind of issue in Romans 12:17-18: “17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”  There are two things he highlights here. The first thing, is that when you are treated badly you must not retaliate. It is the Lord’s job to deal with punishing sin, not yours. Your attitude needs to be one of forgiveness and grace.

The second thing, is that you must watch your own lifestyle and actions carefully. Ultimately, you are not responsible for the actions of the other person, but must take a close look at yourself to make sure there is nothing you are doing which is causing the problem. If they say you are often rude, you need to examine yourself to see if that is true. Sometimes sin is hard to see in yourself, so we suggest you pray to the Lord and ask him to show you anything that needs to change in you and also ask a trusted Christian friend for their honest opinion.

Finally, these verses make it clear that there will be times when the other person will not respond positively to you, no matter what you do. At this point, the Bible would refer to them as an ‘enemy’. However, the Lord Jesus is very clear – we are not to fight our enemies, but rather we need to pray for them. In doing this, we are behaving like children of God. Matthew 5:43-48: “43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect."