How to Love Difficult People


Summary of CCEF Booklet How to Love Difficult People – Receiving and Sharing God’s Mercy by William P. Smith

How do I deal with difficult people?

We Are All Hard to Love

  • Learning to love difficult people starts with understanding that you (like me) are hard to love too.
  • It took Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross for God to welcome you and me into his family.
  • If deep down you know you are unlovable and God’s acceptance of you is completely undeserved, then you will have a welcoming attitude toward other unlovely people.
  • Learning the difficult skill of loving difficult people starts by asking God to show you how hard you are to love.

Have God’s Goals for Difficult Relationships

  • Your goal for difficult people should be the same as God’s goal: that they become all that God wants them to be.

How Does God Pursue People? 

  • He invites you to run to him to find safety.
  • He gives you confidence in his invitation by showing you how he has treated people who were having a hard time trusting him.
  • He does not engage people with a hidden agenda to make his life easier.

5 Practical Ways for Change

  1. Admit Your Own Failings
    To the glory of God and hope to others.
  2. Pursue Others for Their Sake
    Realizing that all your needs are truly met in Christ will keep you from expecting too much from others as you care for them.
  3. Point Out Areas of Growth
    When you notice how critical you are, you need to make it your goal to catch others doing things right.
  4. Love Cares about What’s Best for Others
    Love requires you to extend yourself toward another to do what  that person needs without worrying about what you may or may not receive in return.
  5. Love Endures for the Long Haul
    Jesus endures with you and encourages you to endure with him.



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