Our local assembly, the church community is fundamental to our spiritual growth and how we treat each other is important to God. As a believer, we are instructed to love others as ourselves, but what happens when you sincerely don’t like a fellow Believer?
See 1 Peter 2:17 (AMP) Show respect for all people [treat them honourably], love the brotherhood [of believers], fear God, honour the king.
Also in Romans 12:10 (Holman) Show family affection to one another with brotherly love. Outdo one another in showing honour.
We are therefore called to love and honor our brothers and sisters in the Faith and this is not just about lip service or mere actions but also in the way we think about them in our hearts. I acknowledge that this love walk can prove difficult sometimes especially when some people just prove hard to love.We are called to love and honour our brothers and sisters in the Faith and this goes beyond lip service or mere actions but also in the way we think about them in our hearts. Click To Tweet
For example, there is this particular person in Church that his/her own is just too much and somehow even when you try your best to avoid them they still get on your nerves all the time; doing things that you find irritating or just annoying. Then in your mind, you begin to think, ‘“X, is not even all that great. If only other people will open their eyes and see” Then you feel guilty because you know you ought to love X irrespective. Seems familiar, huh?
Usually if you just ignore this mind battle you really will get to a point where you cannot stand this person or set of people everything they do would upset you then you would start to respond to them like that too without being conscious of your actions.
So what do you do when you start having such feelings of dislike towards your fellow sister or brother in the church?
Here is what to do when you sincere don’t like a fellow believer;
1. Accept that we are all part of a body and a family.
God’s word trumps our experiences and every other thing we pick up here in life.God's word trumps our experiences and every other thing we pick up here in life. Click To Tweet
In 1 Corinthians 12 Paul calls us one bodyThe body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ.13For we were all baptized by  one Spirit into one body–whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free–and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.14Now the body is not made up of one part but of many.
Imagine your own body parts for a moment; when you have a toothache your whole body feels the burden.
Same here; you and that sister/brother and every other Christian all belong to one body, of which Christ is the head therefore you cannot resent, hate or dishonour a part of you. So every time you feel that anger, irritation towards your brother or sister remind your heart, with words, not a head shake that you have the capability to love ALL of your body.
Remember by the Holy Spirit on your inside you are capable of love Romans 5:5 …because the love of God hath been shed abroad in our hearts through the Holy Spirit which was given unto us.You and that sister/brother and every other Christian all belong to one body, of which Christ is the head therefore you cannot resent, hate or dishonour a part of you. Click To Tweet Every time you feel that anger, irritation towards your brother or sister remind your heart, with words, not a head shake that you have the capability to love ALL of your body. Click To Tweet
2. Accept that people are different.
Even though we are all Christians. we grew up in different locations, circumstances and as such have different characters (this is not an excuse for character misbehaviour). People would not do things, say things, respond etc the way you want them to or you expect them to just the same way you won’t be able to as well.
Walking in love will also mean us not reacting based on a person’s action but acting out of our nature which is love (the nature of God).Walking in love will also mean us not reacting based on a person's action but acting out of our nature which is love (the nature of God).When you seem not to like your Church Brother or Sister Click To Tweet
You don’t always like what your biological family does, how much more someone you didn’t grow up together. Learn to accommodate people’s excesses because you are a love being. Give people the room to be themselves and space enough to grow as well.Learn to accommodate people’s excesses because you are a love being. Give people the room to be themselves and space enough to grow as well. Click To Tweet
3. Pray for them.
I find this particular point super helpful because it’s my go-to hack for all my relationships, when I pray for people especially heartfelt prayers which ends up being in tongues, for the most part. I am able to see them as God sees them somehow this makes my love walk easier. When you pray for people God also works on our heart to perceive them as He does so the person may not necessarily stop what annoys you immediately but you see much more than the action so loving them is made easy. It’s the same way that as hard as the cross was a task for Jesus, God strengthened Him to go through it for us.When you pray for people God also works on our heart to perceive them as He does so the person may not necessarily stop what annoys you immediately but you see much more than the action so loving them is made easy. Click To Tweet
4. Practice Love Intentionally.
Choose to be intentional in your love walk. In the same way, your devotion may need intentionality you may need to practice loving a person. Choose to focus on what you like about the person and ignore what you don’t like
So this sister seems to have an opinion on everything and it irks you a lot, however, she is also a very confident lady or she dresses well. Why not choose to focus on her strengths and admire that. Whenever her “talks” begin to get irritating, just remind yourself how much you love her confidence and style, which makes her a very amazing person.Choose to be intentional in your love walk. The same way your devotion needs intentionality, you may need to practice loving a person intentionally. Choose to focus on what you like about the person and ignore what you don’t like. Click To Tweet
5. Be intentional about knowing this person.
Sometimes, the reason you think you don’t like a person is because you don’t know that person, you have not really interacted with the person. You will be surprised that people are a whole lot different when you meet them close up.
Our perception of people is oftentimes an assumption based on a few things we’ve seen or a particular way they related with us or something we saw them do one time.Sometimes the reason you think you don’t like a person is that you have not really interacted with the person. , give genuine compliments (even when you don’t feel like it) and you will be surprised at how sweet this person is. Click To Tweet
Meet people, take active interest. Take a step further to offer help, give genuine compliments. even when you don’t feel like it and you will be surprised at how sweet this person is, or how wrong about them you were.
6. Be Intentionally kind
Kindness is a fruit of the spirit so you can show it to others. sometimes you would need more effort but you have it on your inside. Kindness might resemble being helpful or showing empathy. It may mean doing nice things without expecting nice things in return when you find that you really don’t like your brother or your sister be intentional with showing them kindness this helps your heart be tender to them plus you have a greater chance of knowing them.
Psychologist opines that gifts can make you happy, communicate your feelings toward the receiver and even strengthen relationships so giving thoughtful gifts is also a great way of showing kindness.Kindness is a fruit of the spirit so you can show it to others. sometimes you would need more effort but you have it on your inside. Click To Tweet
7. Talk about the issue
If you have however tried all these and it seems to not work, maybe because the person did something that hurt or constantly hurts you or others by certain behaviour. You can speak to him/her about it. Never assume until proven otherwise that your brother or sister is intentionally hurting you.Never assume until proven otherwise that your brother or sister is intentionally hurting you. Click To Tweet
See Jesus’ counsel on confrontation Matthew 18:15-17 (ESV) “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.
Rather than gossip or give others a wrong impression of this person (which will be spreading discord, by the way), why not have a conversation. Tell her/her what they did or is still doing that you don’t like and how it affects you. Give a chance to this person to defend him/herself then meet somewhere in the middle.
Who knows? You might actually end up being best of friends after these.
Remember you should be a shining light to unbelievers and as such, it is not allowed to hate your siblings in the house of God.
Check Out When the Church Lets You Down
Written by; Temi Opaaje