by J. Gerald Harris

How to Get Along with Difficult People
Gerald Harris
Matthew 5:43-47

Is there anybody in this world that makes life difficult for you? Unfortunately we must contend almost daily with cantankerous, obstreperous people. People can make life absolutely glorious, but unfortunately the reverse of that is also true. People can make life absolutely miserable. And so we need to know how to get along with difficult people.


I have encountered some difficult people in my day. The first recollection I have of such a "hard--to--get--along--with" person takes me back to my junior high school days. In the seventh grade there was a fellow in my class by the name of Freddy Taylor. Freddy Taylor was a problem to everybody. He was obnoxious. He was loud. He was a troublemaker. He was always pushing and shoving in the halls.

We played softball and when he caught the ball he never tried to throw the runner out. He would always throw the ball at the runner. I've seen Freddy Taylor get a ground ball and throw the ball at the runner and hit the runner in the back of the head. He was always tripping people; knocking schoolbooks out of the hands of classmates.

I want you to know, we got together and we gave Freddy Taylor a nickname. Do you know what it was? "Whiplash." Do you want to know why we gave him that name? Because he was such a pain in the neck.

Maybe you know folks like that. They're just difficult people. They're hard to get along with. They are a pain in the neck. But you know, I made--up my mind a long time ago that I was not going to let people like that bother me. You just can't let folks like that get your dander up. It has been said "anyone who angers you, conquers you." And it has also been said that "an angry man is seldom reasonable, and a reasonable man is seldom angry." You see, folks, life is too short and life is too precious for us to allow people to mess it up.

There are a lot of people who have difficulty i ...

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