Do you have a person in your life who regularly drives you crazy? Or a person who keeps hurting you and doesn’t seem open to change?
Here are some questions and Bible verses that will help you let go of those angry feelings and love when it’s hard to love.
Note: These questions and Bible verses can also be found in The Renewing of the Mind Project, I Deserve a Donut (and Other Lies That Make You Eat), and the I Deserve a Donut app.
Anger/Annoyance Questions and Bible Verses
- Why are you angry or annoyed? Be specific.
- Are you surprised by this person’s behavior? Why or why not?
- Why does her behavior bother you so much?
- Do you think her behavior bothers God? Why or why not?
- Do you think this person is open to change?
- Yes: If so, do you think God wants you to talk to her? Why or why not? *
- No: If not, what will happen if you try to change her?
- How do you think God wants you to respond to this person? **
- What would you need to give up, if anything, to respond the way God wants you to respond?
- Do you love God (or this person) enough to make that sacrifice?
- Is there anything you need to accept?
- What do you think God wants to do for you in the midst of this difficult situation?
- Do you need to add some boundaries to this relationship?
- If so, what boundaries could you actually enforce? **
- What can you thank God for in this situation? (Don’t forget to include the things you like about this person.)
* Note: If you think God wants you to talk to this person, be sure to renew your mind first so your heart is full of love and respect for her. You’ll have a better chance of reaching her if she doesn’t feel threatened by your anger and/or condemnation.
** Note: If you’re in an abusive or potentially abusive situation, please don’t try to handle this situation on your own. Seek help as soon as you can.
Possible things you’ll need to accept with anger: that people sometimes do things to hurt you, that you can’t change people, that you can’t always have what you want, and that life is often hard and unfair.
Possible things you’ll need to confess with anger: judgment, condemnation, trying to control people God doesn’t want you to control, making something more important than God wants you to make it, and hurting others with your anger.
Matthew 5:43-44, 46 You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?
Matthew 18:21-22 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”
Ephesians 4:26-27 Be angry and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity.
Romans 12:18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.
Romans 15:1, 7 Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves. Each of us is to please his neighbor for his good, to his edification. Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 13:4-5 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered.
1 Corinthians 13:7 (Love) bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Colossians 3:12-14 So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.
Colossians 3:17 Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.
1 John 3:16 We know love by this, that He laid His life down for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
1 Peter 1:22 Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart.
1 Peter 3:8-9 To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing.
Note: As you pray through these verses, pray for the person who is bugging you. God will change your heart as you pray for him or her.
If you’re looking for a book to go a little deeper, these questions can also be found in