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4 Helpful Ways to Love Those Who Are Hard to Love

There is no doubt, it is hard to love those who are hard to love. I know all about it. Yet, these are tried and true ways that I’ve applied in my own life when I’ve encountered individuals like this.

Inside Out with Courtnaye
Updated Oct 16, 2023
4 Helpful Ways to Love Those Who Are Hard to Love

It’s easy to love people who are easy to love. Right? But what about those who are grumpy, mean, cold, or insensitive? Those are the ones that are typically hard to love.

Have you ever encountered people like this in your life? Are you dealing with someone right now that is rather difficult to love?

I would venture to say that we all know people in our lives who are hard to love. It could be your boss, leader, spouse, co-worker, fellow churchgoer, friend, in-law, or a wayward child.

The list could literally go on and on, but for the sake of time, think about it for a second. Who is that person in this season?

Think about why it’s so hard for you to love that individual. Is it because he or she says or does things that are hurtful, aggravating, or frustrating? Is it because it seems that when you walk into the room, it appears as though that person makes you feel unwelcome or uncomfortable?

Are you hurt because of an injustice or accusation? As you ponder these thoughts, I’d like to share a few helpful ways to love those who are hard to love with you for a moment.

1. Give Yourself Pause to Pray

In other words, pray for yourself to calm down if something negative or troubling was spoken or done to you or someone you love. Take a quick and quiet break to ask the Holy Spirit to help you to love your offended despite what was spoken or done to hurt, offend, or irritate you.

When you pray, it has the power to calm you down. It allows space and time for you to choose the proper response, while also giving God a chance to move in the situation. James 1:19 encourages us to, “…be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.”

Also, Psalm 37:7 says, “Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act.” So, give yourself pause to pray, so God can move and help you love them in the midst of the hurt or frustration.

2. Choose Compassion

The word compassion actually means “to suffer together.” The Merriam-Webster dictionary describes it as pity coupled with an urgent desire to aid or to spare. So, spare the person who is unloving towards you.

Pity them in a way that is more like extending grace towards them because they may not really know that what they are saying or doing is hurtful or bothersome to you.

Even if you sense that he or she is aware of their actions, pray and suffer with them in this regard by choosing to be compassionate, just as Jesus did when He was hung on the cross by His own people.

He cried out in Luke 23:34, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” Though it may be hard, choose compassion. This is love.

3. Forgive Quickly

Forgiveness is all about pardoning someone who has hurt or offended you in some way. Forgiveness is not burying the fact that you’ve been offended, falsely accused, disliked, disrespected, misrepresented, or wounded. However, it is letting go and letting God bring forth healing, justice, and help.

Ephesians 4:31-32 tells us, “Get rid of bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”

The quicker you forgive, the quicker you can release the weight of negative emotions. Love is wrapped in forgiveness.

4. Remember What Love Is Biblically

The Bible tells us in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”

Take a moment to meditate on this passage of Scripture. Ponder each sentence and apply it where it is needed, because this is how we love those who are hard to love from a biblical perspective.

There is no doubt, it is hard to love those who are hard to love. I know all about it. Yet, these are tried and true ways that I’ve applied in my own life when I’ve encountered individuals like this.

I’m often quickly reminded of what Jesus said in Luke 6:32, 35, and 36, “If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them. But love your enemies. Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High. You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.”

This is how we love those who are hard to love. I hope this was helpful!

Check out Courtnaye’s FREE mini-video teaching Fruitful Living

For further reading:

Why Is Love Painful Sometimes?

Understanding the Biblical Concept of ‘Love Your Enemies’

What Does it Mean 'Love Is Patient'? (1 Corinthians 13:4)

5 Ways to Love Those with Different Beliefs

What Does ‘Love One Another’ Truly Mean?

Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/SeventyFour

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Courtnaye Richard is the founder of Inside Out with Courtnaye, a ministry that helps women grow in Christ, character, and calling. She is an author and sought-out speaker. Her speaking appearances include She Speaks, Hope*Writers Tuesday Teaching, Christian Parenting Conference, and Entrusted Women’s Conference. In addition, her blog and podcast, Inside Out with Courtnaye reaches thousands of women across the globe! She is also the founder of the faith-based marketing and mentorship agency, Inside Out Media Group, LLC, where she’s worked with platforms such as PBS, CBN, TCT Networks, and Yahoo. Connect with her at or on Instagram @insideoutwithcourtnaye.

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