How to Love Difficult People at Work

“Do all your work in love.”

1 Corinthians 16:14 (GNT)

Why do you do what you do?

If you’re just working so you can survive, then you are wasting your life. There is more to life than working just to live!

The highest motivation for any kind of work is love. When you do anything in love, that pleases God. You can run through checklists all day and please God. You can pick up garbage and please God. You can look at a computer screen and please God. You can clean a hospital or hotel room and please God. How? By doing it in love.

You can do anything in love.

Sometimes you do the right thing but for the wrong motivation—and God says you don’t get any credit for that. God is more interested in why you do what you do than he is in what you do. The Bible says, “Do all your work in love” (1 Corinthians 16:14 GNT).

People ask me all the time, “Rick, how have you stayed motivated being a pastor for over 40 years?” The answer is simple: I do it out of love. I love God, and I love people.

Love is what keeps you going when you feel like giving up. The Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 1:3, “We remember before our God and Father how you put your faith into practice, how your love made you work so hard” (GNT). Love is the ultimate motivation.

You may have to deal with all kinds of people at work, including people who are dishonest, disagreeable, defensive, and demeaning. You probably have to work with somebody you don’t like.

But God wants you to grow in love. So if you’re going to grow up spiritually, it means you’re going to have to learn to love those people.

How do you do that? The Bible says, “Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (Romans 12:16-18 NIV).

Here are some practical ways to love difficult people at work: Treat everyone with kindness. Don’t become set in your own opinions. Work happily together. Respond with grace and forgiveness. Do all you can to live at peace with everyone.

Do everything in love.

Talk It Over

  • How would you answer the question, “Why do you do what you do?” How do you think God feels about your motivation for work?
  • What will you have to change in your work—and in yourself—so that you can be at peace with as many people as possible?
  • What one person at your workplace is particularly hard for you to love? How will you show kindness to them this week?

Give hope, prayer, and encouragement below. Post a comment & talk about it.