How to Love ‘Hard-to-Love’ People

Ian McClellan   -  

There are many reason someone might be 😡 ‘Hard-to-Love’ 😡 and the circumstances that create those tensions may or may not be within our ability to control.

For example, the person we are trying to love may:

  • Make life choices we disagree with
  • Have a difficult or aggressive attitude/ behaviors
  • Have strained relationships
  • Be selfish, unthoughtful, or harmful towards others

Christ has called us show his love to all people, including difficult people. If this is so, we must ask ourselves what is our strategy to love people despite the circumstances??

In his book Loving your CommunityPastor Steve Viars of Faith Church in Lafayette Indiana shares two important ideas to consider when we are seeing to love ‘hard-to-love’ people.

First we must focus on ways YOU need to change

Thanks Steve turn it back on us!!! Yet, Steve is right.

This is a highly biblical principle: You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. – Matt 7:4

When we first look to our own hardship and struggles it can truly cultivate a deeper empathy for those who are harder to deal with. We are reminded, we too at times are difficult and when we are in our deepest struggles we sure hope grace is extended to us.

We can remind ourselves how when we were still sinners CHRIST DIED FOR US! This same grace is extended those who are the most difficult people in our lives as well.


Second we must take the time to learn about their most pressing needs

It could be easy to slap a bandage on these situations and call it good. Yet the key to this concept lyes in the time spent learning.

The old adage goes: Before you judge a man, walk a mile in his shoes.

The truth is that it’s easy to write people off without understanding their situation. Hurt people.. ultimately… hurt people.

Are you taking the time to understand the why behind their needs and hurts??

TAKE THE TIME. Yes it’s an investment but you just might be the salve for that persons wounds. You might be the person God uses to help them break through their hurt and struggles.

Ultimately, God want to use YOU to meet their most pressing needs!



River Valley Rockford is actively reaching out to those with great need in our community. We are partnering with David’s Closet to help provide Dignity Bag for the homeless in Rockford.

We are collecting items through Feb.13 and will build/distribute on the evening of Feb.27.

Please join us as we love our community with the grace and compassion of Jesus.