Difficult Relationships

There are some difficult things in life that we all experience, and nobody gets a free pass from going through them. We have problems with our health, our finances, and the disappointments of dreams that failed to come true. But it will be challenging relationships that often consume us the most.

Spend more time considering how you treat others instead of how others treat you. “Do not be bitter or angry or mad. Never shout angrily or say things to hurt others. Never do anything evil. Be kind and loving to each other. Forgive each other just as God forgave you in Christ” (Ephesians 4:31-32 ICB).                                            

If you have someone that is harming you in how they treat you, please reach out and get help. You are precious and loved by God and deserve to be treated with fairness and love. Never allow someone to make you think you deserve the punishment they pour out on you.

If you want to make wise choices, simply ask God to help you. “If any of you lacks wisdom [to guide him through a decision or circumstance], he is to ask of [our benevolent] God, who gives to everyone generously and without rebuke or blame, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5 AMP).

One challenging relationship issue is when someone is often trying to humiliate you. They take the most pleasure in doing it in front of others. They take pleasure in getting a laugh at your expense. They often think themselves funny and right in what they do. They are feeding their own pride by trying to make you look like a fool. They are fools in the eyes of God.

The measure of your faith is how you treat others who mistreat you. Jesus taught, “But I say to you, love [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for] your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44 AMP).

Don’t let the flaws in another person make a dent in how you see yourself. Their actions speak of them and not of you. Remember how such people made you feel and be determined in your heart to never do this yourself, even in a small way. Laugh at yourself but never at another.

How you treat others will impact how God treats you. “Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t snap back at those who say unkind things about you. Instead, pray for God’s help for them, for we are to be kind to others, and God will bless us for it” (1 Peter 3:9 TLB).

Another challenging relationship issue is when someone is always putting you down or trying to make you look inferior in front of others. They justify their actions by thinking they are merely proving a truth when in fact, they are perpetuating a lie. They may have a greater intellect and even some higher skills, but their character is tarnished, and their pride will someday bring them low.

Our anger towards others hurts us more than them. “You must not hate your brother in your heart. If your neighbor does something wrong, tell him about it. If you do not, you will be partly to blame. Forget about the wrong things people do to you. You must not try to get even. Love your neighbor as you love yourself. I am the Lord” (Leviticus 19:17-18 ICB).

They are feeding their pride by trying to make you look less than them. Remember, they don’t define you; they define themselves. Be the light even around their darkness. Be determined in yourself to never look down on another or make someone feel less than yourself.

Show others the respect you think you deserve. “Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor” (1 Peter 2:17 NIV).

Another challenging relationship issue is with someone who is selfish at every turn. They speak only of themselves and never listen to a word from you. They take advantage of you and are never willing to do anything in return. Their life is always about them, and you are just an accessory.

The higher your faith, the less you will look down on others. “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves” (Philippians 2:3 NLT).

You cannot change selfishness in others, but perhaps God can. The first person you must pray that He would change is yourself. We are all selfish, and the only question is to what degree. Wherever someone else may be failing, be sure you have enough for God to fix in you.

When you see the best in others, that is the best in you. “Treat other people as you would like them to treat you” (Luke 6:31 CJB).

The one thing we must remember is that when we think about someone who is challenging for us, we may be the person that is challenging for another. Guard yourself against those who mistreat you but spend more time being concerned with how you treat others.

You won’t correct your own mistakes so long as you focus on the mistakes of others. “If we claim not to have sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we acknowledge our sins, then, since he is trustworthy and just, he will forgive them and purify us from all wrongdoing” (1 John 1:8-9 CJB).

If you want to change the world, then change yourself. If you want people to act differently, then be the influence that they might then change. Your greatest lesson to others will be in the way that you live your life. Live it with kindness and respect towards others and see what value your life will have.

It’s one thing to call yourself a Christian and another thing to be one. Jesus taught, “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples” (John 13:35 NLT).

Blessings to you,

Paul Balius

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