How Should Christians React to People Who Don't Like Them?

People-pleasers often crave the approval of everybody around them, but statistically speaking, not everybody is bound to like them. At least 10 percent of people will never like them, no matter how nice, caring, thoughtful or generous they might be.


Charismatic Christian speaker and author Joyce Meyer wrote on her website that people-pleasers should stop having to seek a perfect record with everyone and simply celebrate who they truly are. "A person who knows how to live independently does not allow the moods of other people to alter hers," she said.

Meyer then shared the story of a Quaker man who knew his self-worth and did not rely on other people's judgment to determine his mood. One night, the Quaker man was walking down the street with his friend. They stopped at a newsstand to purchase an evening paper, and they were greeted by a rude and unfriendly storekeeper.

Despite the storekeeper's sour disposition, the Quaker man still treated him with kindness and respect. His friend could not believe how the Quaker man maintained cordiality with the unpleasant storekeeper and asked, "How could you be so cordial to him with the terrible way he was treating you?"

The Quaker man merely replied, "Oh, he is always that way. Why should I let him determine how I am going to act?"

In the same vein, Meyer said Christians should treat people who like them and those who don't like them the same way. She even shared a prayer for people to recite when faced with people who don't like them : "Lord, help me to not allow others to steal my joy and peace by the things they say and do. I want to be kind and cordial, but I won't let my mood to be controlled. Amen."

Meanwhile, evangelist Billy Graham earlier said that some people just can't help but be unpleasant towards others. He suspects it is due to past trauma, and their being mean is a coping mechanism so they will no longer get hurt.

"Sometimes a harsh and insensitive attitude shields a person who himself has been wounded by the remarks of others," he said on his website.

People's normal reaction would be to seek revenge and be mean or cruel as well. But Graham suggested otherwise. "Focus on the fact that God loves you and considers you precious to Him," he said. "There will be a real difference in your life. Your sense of self-worth does not need to depend on the opinion of others."

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