Holy in the Daily

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What to Do When Personalities Clash

Have you ever had a work or social situation where one person stood out as difficult? You know the kind I mean—your opinion is always minimized, and you just can’t seem to warm up to this person’s personality.

Sometimes these people pass through your life quickly. Often they stay. Either way, they give you opportunities to grow in your people skills and boundary-setting techniques.

Be encouraged—a personality clash or difference of opinion are normal

If everyone got along there would be no need for the Bible and its stories of ordinary people experiencing frustration with one another.

In the New Testament, Paul and John Mark fit this description. Something happened in their relationship or in their definition of Paul’s mission that caused a breach.

We know it wasn’t serious sin, such as immorality or slander on John Mark’s side, or Paul would have applied Matthew 18 to the problem with John Mark. Instead, Paul simply asked John Mark to not be a part of his ministry.

Barnabas disagreed with Paul about John Mark and quit traveling with Paul’s ministry because of his views. One has the feeling from Scripture that this was an “agree to disagree” parting. Later, Paul changed his mind about John Mark and requested his participation in Paul’s Gentile ministry.

When personalities clash it isn’t necessarily sin—how differences are expressed can be

In an agree to disagree parting, it is important that grace and respect be the flow of the disagreement.

If things are processed improperly, then repentance and forgiveness are necessary.

However, one doesn’t have to repent or forgive for their opinion. Unity doesn’t mean that we have to agree about everything!

People will always be a part of our lives or else we each wouldn’t have much of a life

How we handle the personality clashes and opinion differences that come with living in a people populated world will vary depending on our level of maturity and willingness to process such things in a godly way.

Repentance, forgiveness, and extending grace continue to be part of the kingdom culture we learn and practice on a daily basis.

These are the things that build your legacy of faith

What have you found to be helpful in dealing with personality clashes and opinion differences? Leave your opinionated comments in the comment section below. 🙂

BTW, this post is taken from my book, Help, I’m Stuck With These People For the Rest of Eternity.

If you’d like more details on how to deal with difficult people and personality clashes, check out these posts:

The Secret to Dealing With Difficult People

How to Avoid Burnout With Your Difficult Child

Spiritual Warfare Tips For Dealing With Difficult People

Catch you later,


P.S. This is a repeat post of Finding Your Way Through Personality Clashes and Opinion Differences from 2010.

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This Post Has One Comment

  1. Gayle Moody

    Very helpful, Susan. A reminder that my personality clash with my son and daughter-in-law (I’m too social and “pry” into their personal lives too much) isn’t sin. We have pretty much resolved our differences with grace and respect. Does that mean it’s not painful? Nope. Being sensitive to the Holy Spirit has helped me in this relationship. I quit trying to make things happen; I acknowledge family events with a card; and I continue to pray for all of them (two teenage grandchildren involved). BTW, the pastor that married them gave them a personality test that confirmed they were exceedingly anti-social. It has essentially given them permission to continue in their un-relational manner. After 20 years, I guess I should have settled with this. It has only been resolved in the last year.

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