45 Bible Verses about Loving Difficult People

By David Small •  Updated: 03/09/22 •  11 min read

People can be difficult, of course, and the way they live can bring out the worst in us.

We need to remember that our natural reaction is not always the best way to respond.

God has given us a better way—a more kind, patient, and loving way—to deal with and interact with others.

However, we must keep in mind that God does not command us to regard everyone as a close friend or give everyone we know an equal influence over our lives. But he commands us to relate to everyone in love.

Therefore, here are 45 bible verses about loving difficult is. If you learn how to deal with difficult people early on, you can spend more energy on your assignment than unnecessary conflict.

What does the bible say about loving difficult people?

Remember, you don’t have all the pieces of this person’s puzzle. There are things about this person that you don’t know or don’t understand.

God knows, and He can help you be kind and patient until you find out interesting things about the person.

In 1 Corinthians 13:4, we read that love is patient and kind. We are not naturally like that, but God is.

So, in prayer, ask Him to reveal to you what you need to know and help you be close to that person, to treat them with the patience and kindness with which God treats each of us.

Some people are really damaged, and that damage often “rebounds” off the life and soul in such a way that it hits other people.

It could be that that person’s wounds are not healed, which means we have to accept their reality and limitations at that moment.

But even though they are acting this way, we can change our perspective on them and our response to their actions.

Is there a different and kinder way to respond? Can we replace defensiveness, the willingness to argue and fight back, with compassion?

Being polite, loving, and polite is the best answer – practicing this goes a long way in loving difficult people.

Inspirational Bible Verses about Loving Difficult People

  1. Colossians 3:14

Above all, put on love, which is the perfect bond.

  1. Corinthians 13:7

bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

  1. Ephesians 4:2

with all lowliness and gentleness, with long suffering, bearing with one another in love

  1. Romans 12:18

If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.

  1. Ephesians 4:2-3

with all lowliness and gentleness, with long suffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

  1. Proverbs 22:24

Make no friendship with an angry man, And with a furious man do not go, Lest you learn his ways And set a snare for your soul.

  1. 1 Peter 1:22

Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart

  1. Romans 12:20

Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”

Avoiding difficult people is not reflecting the love of Christ

Jesus tells us to treat others the way we want to be treated. This is not always easy because our natural tendency is to retaliate when someone else’s words or actions hurt us. “He attacked me first,” “I’m only defending myself,” “Fair is fair,” we can say to ourselves.

But to have the character of Christ is to do more than our human nature wants to do. It is to live as Jesus lived, for He came to show us a better way. That’s why He shared these words:

  1. Matthew 7:12

Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

  1. Matthew 5:38-40

“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also.

  1. John 13:34-35

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.

  1. John 3:11

This is the message you have heard all along: that we love one another.

  1. Matthew 5:46-47

For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so?

Bible verses about loving difficult people in the new testament

When you do all things regardless of feelings or others’ actions, this is Love.

Sometimes you don’t feel like you can love when you’re tempted to anger, impatience, think the worst of someone, or give up something.

When you deny these feelings and rejoice, have long-suffering, humble yourself, carry others’ burdens, bear all things – and true Love manifests.

Love gives life – those natural reactions and demands that are part of human nature – and expects nothing in return.

  1. Romans 13:10

Love does not harm others. So love is the fulfillment of the law.

  1. 1 Peter 3:15

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear

  1. Ephesians 4:2

Always humble and kind, patient, tolerant of each other in love.

  1. John 4:20

If someone affirms: “I love God,” but hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.

  1. 1 John 4: 11-12

Beloved, if God so loved us, we must also love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us, and his love is perfect in us

  1. Romans 12:10

Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another

  1. John 13:35

By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.

  1. John 14:24

He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Fathers who sent Me.

Also See: 47 Bible Verses About God’s Unconditional Love.

Bible verses about forgiving and loving difficult people

It’s great if someone loves us, and we love them back. That is easy. But this is not a proof of love.

God loved us before we loved him, and we have done nothing to deserve this love. Love gives, and not only to those who are good to us.

  1. Proverbs 17: 9

Whoever ignores the offense creates bonds of love

23.Proverbs 15:1

A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.

  1. Peter 4:8

Above all, love one another deeply because love covers a multitude of sins.

  1. Romans 12:9

Love must be sincere. Hate evil, cling to the good.

  1. 1 Corinthians 13:8

Love will never cease to exist

  1. Matthew 5:44-45

But I say to you: Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who abuse you and persecute you; so that you may be children of your Father who is in heaven, who makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and makes it rain on the just and unjust.

  1. Leviticus 19:17-18

Do not feed secret hatred against your brother, but frankly rebuke your neighbor so that you do not suffer the consequences of his sin. Do not be vindictive with your neighbor, nor hold a grudge against him. Love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.

  1. Ecclesiastics 18:16

As dew refreshes heat, so a good word is better than a gift.

Difficult People

Photo by Afif Kusuma on Unsplash

When all else fails, keep loving.

Loving those who love us has no greater merit. Unfortunately, everyone does it, even the worst offenders.

Loving those who treat us inconsiderately is the kind of love that comes from God. Living without learning to love others is not grasping the idea of the very purpose of life.

It is essential to know that thanks to Jesus’ sacrifice, we have been forgiven for mistakes much greater than those that will be committed against us.

  1. Galatians 5:13-15

For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!

  1. Ephesians 4:31-32

Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

  1. Philippians 1:7-8

just as it is right for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart, inasmuch as both in my chains and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers with me of grace. For God is my witness, how greatly I long for you all with the affection of Jesus Christ.

  1. Philippians 2:14-15

Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world

  1. 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13

And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you, so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.

  1. Ephesians 4:32

And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

  1. Colossians 3:13

Bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.

You too could be the difficult person in someone else’s life!

You might not even know that you are a pain in someone’s flesh. Don’t be blind to your flaws and transgressions.

So, when that kid has you on the verge of tears, or you’re confronted with that difficult colleague, ask God for grace to keep engaging that difficult person in love rather than running away.

As we endeavor to love people as Christ loved us when we were his enemies, God will be honored, and our hearts will be filled with greater happiness.

  1. John 15:13

Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

  1. Philippians 2:3

Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.

  1. Romans 12:9

Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.

  1. Proverbs 25:21

If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink

  1. Romans 12:19-21

Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

  1. Luke 6:27-28

“But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.

  1. Philippians 4:13

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

  1. Romans 13:8

Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.

  1. Romans 5:8

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

In conclusion

As humans, we tend to want others to change. We feel that it is difficult to love someone as they are, and we prefer it to be different.

This is proof that we are more concerned with our happiness and comfort than with Love for others. We seek our good.

The truth is, instead of waiting for others to change, we have to find our sin and purify it.

If we purify ourselves of all these things, we can bear the burden, belief, hope, and bear everything for others.

We love them just the way they are, and we can pray for them with a sincere love of God and care for them.

 

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

David Small