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How can you be social with a family who isnít nice to you?óTyler


How can you be social with a family who isnít nice to you?óTyler

Asa Answers:

Dear Tyler,

This is going to sound like a bad answer, but you can’t. If someone does not like you, and they are not nice to you, there is a good chance they won’t let you socialize with them normally. It takes two people to get along, and if one side doesn’t want to, there’s not much the other can do. But don’t get discouraged.
I’m pretty sure every family includes at least one person who is difficult to get along with. There are folks in my family who haven’t spoken for years, and right now there are people not speaking to me. I’m not worried, though; there are things that I can do to make the best of the situation.

If you can’t be social, be civil. Your family may not come around that much if they don’t like you. When they are around, they may start arguments, be critical, or just ignore you. Take every opportunity to be gracious. Greet them nicely when you see them. Offer them something to drink if they come over to visit. Little things, such as opening a door or pulling out a chair to help seat someone, let your family know that you are not interested in being mean or holding a grudge. If you are consistently kind, they will have a harder time being mean.

There are two texts that you can reference when dealing with difficult family members. The first is Proverbs 25:21, 22: “If your enemies are hungry, give them bread to eat; and if they are thirsty, give them water to drink; for you will heap coals of fire on their heads, and the Lord will reward you.” While the image of your rude family’s heads on fire might have popped into your mind, that is not the point of this verse. The point is that treating someone who is not nice you to in a kind manner will make it harder for them to stay mean. After a while it will be easier for them to walk around on fire than continue to be mean to you. God has also promised to reward you if you can be nice to your enemies, a win on both fronts.

The second text is Romans 12:19-21. It says, “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’ No, ‘if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Let’s say that your family is never nice to you. God promises to take care of it for you so you don’t have to worry about it. You can just keep being nice. If you are mean because someone is mean to you, evil wins. But if you follow God’s instructions and love your enemy, you overcome evil by the goodness of God. Good wins.

The bottom line is that it’s your responsibility to demonstrate Christ’s character when handling mean people. If your family is mean, don’t let it ruin your character, or relationship with God. Loving them may not be the easiest thing you do. You will need to pray and spend time in devotion in order to pull it off. But your quality of life and family relationships will get better if you do.

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