Dealing Biblically with "Prickly People"

This devotion offers 4 Ways to Deal with Difficult People. Scriptures to help us respond Biblically.

Most people are easy enough to get along with. They have their faults just like we have ours.

But there's a small percentage of people I'll call "prickly."

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They're always causing relationship problems but blaming the problems on others. They may be chronic liars or simply negative, critical, stingy, ungrateful, or self-focused.

If we're not careful, they can suck the life out of us.

It would be great to simply avoid them, but often they're in our family, workplace, or church, so we can't. 

So here's how we can deal with them biblically:

1. Forgive them and move forward without keeping a list of their offenses (Colossians 3:13).

2. Be willing to discuss problems and attempt reconciliation even if it fails (Matthew 5:23-24). 

3. Realize that no matter how hard we try, some people will cut us off or refuse to talk through our problems (Romans 12:18).

4. Focus on the good people in our lives (Philippians 4:8).

If we do these things, we will avoid becoming prickly ourselves! In fact, prickly people can actually have an important function in our lives by refining and strengthening our character (Romans 8:28). 

They can teach us how to deal graciously with bossy, negative, and manipulative people without becoming bossy, negative, and manipulative ourselves. Romans 12 offers excellent advice in this area.

So consider difficult relationships a faith lesson, and do your best to please God even if you can't please others.

For more insights on this subject:

We Can't Please God and Refuse to Reconcile

Movin' On

When Boundaries are Bitter Barriers


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This devotion offers 4 Ways to Deal with Difficult People. Scriptures to help us respond Biblically.

Bible Love Notes


  1. Great advice Gail. I love the way you keep truth simple and to the point. Enjoy a blessing-filled day!

  2. Wisdom and so clearly written. Thanks for the spiritual boost.

    Mama to 8
    One homemade and 7 adopted

  3. Thank you for sharing. Featured you on my blog today. Together We Shine!

  4. I just started reading these devotions and truly appreciate your time and beautiful simple wisdom. Thank you for being a blessing

  5. To be honest, I'm really surprised you didn't add, "Pray for them."

    Remember, please, that Jesus died for those "prickly" souls, too, and they could very well be in Heaven with us someday. Don't worry, though. You'll really like them, then.

  6. Couldn't have seen your post at a better time. I'm transferring to another store with fresh opportunuties starting Sept 18th. I will be leaving behind one of the prickliest people have ever had to work with in my life although a great developing opportunity to strentghen me.